27 October 2016 Last updated at: 10:00 AM

Mutharika for an improved nutrition of girls

The call for girls’ education is incomplete if it ignores the basic issues of nutrition.

The country’s first lady Gertrude Mutharika Wednesday has once again expressed her commitment to the education of the girl child by specially focusing on their nutrition.

Mutharika made the remarks in Lilongwe during the official opening of the second 2016 International Food and Nutrition Research dissemination conference.

Gertrude Mutharika

Gertrude Mutharika has made the call.

Madam Mutharika said that she was listening carefully to the presentations on how increased girl education is linked to improved nutrition.

“The burning zeal on the plight of the girl child by nutrition sector compliments with the global agenda in investing in the girl child. Beatify Malawi (BEAM) Trust has goals of keeping girls in school which overlap with nutrition,” said Mutharika.

She further assured the nutrition fraternity in the country, that as a mother she is on their side and together they are a winning team in improving nutrition for the girl child.

“I will help to accelerate access to quality community nutrition services and I appeal to researchers, programmers, development partners and other stakeholders to go deeper in unearthing what needs to be done and how to do it so that the country can concentrate its limited resources on what could work best in the country’s context,” Mutharika said.

Speaking at the same function Minister of Health, Dr Peter Kumpalume said the country’s economy depends on nutrition and the conference would help the health sector to make right policies on nutrition.

According to Kumpalume this year’s conference is focused on the girl child because the vast majority of the children born in this county are from adolescent girls who have no resources to provide good diet to themselves and their newborn babies.

“Poor nutrition results in stunted growth which causes low productivity among the affected group,” Kumpalume said.

He assured the delegates that the research findings would be translated into policies and urged researchers in the country to train others so that nutrition

Three women were awarded for contributing in improving nutrition status of the country.  The awardees were late Matasi Mkwamba, Dr Mary Shaba and Dr Beatrice Mtimuni.