By Kabuye Ronald
Civil societies under the Civil Society Alliance for Nutrition Uganda (CISANU), have expressed dismay over Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja’s failure to sign the forward for Uganda’s Nutrition Action Plan which has greatly hindered its implementation.
Speaking during a meeting on popularization of United Nutrition Action Plan UNAP II and discussions on the three areas of breastfeeding, iron & Vitamin A intake, Richard Baguma Tinkasimire, the CISANU Convener wondered why the plan that was approved by all relevant authorities of government since 2018 has not been signed yet its implementation ends in 2025.
“One of our greatest disappointments as civil societies is that we have an excellent nutrition action plan, Uganda’s strategy for improving nutrition of the population, we understand it was approved by relevant government organs including the office of the Prime Minister but we cannot roll out with it confidently just because it is missing the signature of the Prime Minister. It has been on the desk waiting for the signature of the foreword since 2018, what is so magical about this signature?” questioned Baguma.
”We are told that we should continue with the implementation, why is the foreword of it not being signed and why is it not being given to us to roll out? It’s a document for Ugandans, developed by Ugandans to improve the welfare of Ugandans. Please the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister sign the foreword of the Nutrition action plan and we roll with it.”
Baguma says that if the Uganda Nutrition Action Plan is signed, implemented, popularized and brought to the people, civil societies, donors, local governments, academia and the media, a compendium of problems that relate to malnutrition will be dealt with. He says that the burdens of Malnutrition costs the country so much in terms of human resource and financial resources
The civil societies resolved to push the duty bearers, those that have the mandate and the resources by law to stop being sloppy and sluggish and do their work. They have also resolved to work very closely with the media to create public awareness about the simple things that households, homestead and education institutions can do to improve the nutrition within the food that is available in their environment.
They further resolved to look for more funding that can be committed to nutrition as a development priority.
The limited data available in Uganda shows that among children younger than 5 years, 53% suffer from anemia, 29% from stunting, and 11% from underweight. Among women of reproductive age, 32% have anemia and 9% suffer from underweight, while 24% are overweight or have obesity.