The Dowa District Council has assured Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) and Agricultural extension workers who will be working in the micronutrient Ndisakanizeni powder government program that they will be given full support in order to ensure that the program is a success in the district.
Government is rolling out the distribution of micronutrient rich powdered sachet program to children between the ages of 6 to 24 months as a complementary feed to help them grow well.
In the program, health facilities will submit monthly reports and the supplies request by every 5th of the month with the District’s Nutritionist submitting the consolidated district reports and supplies request to the Ministry of Health headquarters by 7th of every months.
Speaking during a two day orientation workshop for HSAs and Agricultural extension workers held at the Dowa boma, the council’s Acting Director of Planning and Development Martin Pindamkono said government has observed that many children in the country are not growing properly as there are many cases of stunting due to lack of sufficient micronutrient in many of the foods that are given to babies.
Pindamkono said the 6 to 24 months age bracket is the most critical stage of growth for babies hence a great need for nutritious food for the children to grow well.
He added that micronutrient powder sachet is not medicine and is supposed to be mixed with semi solid food and given to the child every other day until the child reaches 24 months.
“Care Group promoters need to hold cooking demonstrations so that communities are aware of how to come up with good Ndisakanizeni powder for babies’ diets,” he emphasised.
The DPD discouraged the communities from giving food mixed with the micronutrient powder when the child is diagnosed with malaria saying the powder contains iron which is food for plasmodium, a malaria causing pathogen.
In her remarks, Disease Control Surveillance Assistant for Dowa District Hospital Mesiya Mchawa said the workshop was an eye opener to them as they will be holding cooking demonstrations for Ndisakanizeni micronutrient powder to communities they are serving in the district.
Mchawa assured the secretariat that the participants to the workshop will not let government down in the program and he promised to reach out to each and every household in the district with the message.