THE Ministry of Health has failed to take the revised Nutrition Bill to Parliament despite increasing concerns over the high prevalence of malnutrition in Zambia.
Civil Society Organisations Scaling Up Nutrition (CSO-SUN) national coordinator William Chilufya said while they appreiciated Government’s commitment to improving nutrition in the country, there had been very little done towards actualising the programmes.
Mr Chilufya said Government had so far shown a lot of commitment, but had failed to implement programmes to help correct reduce the levels of malnutrition in the country.
“We appreciate that Government has realised the impact of malnutrition in the country and have expressed this concern at various fora. But they are not willing to take the Bill to Parliament. We have already done our part as stakeholders on the revised document set for tabling to Parliament but we are disappoited that the Minsitry of Health has not yet submited the document,” he said.
He said CSO-SUN was surprised that the Nutrition Bill was not among the documents listed in President Edgar Lungu’s speech during the opening of the National Assembly, when the document had already undergone amendments in line with the current needs.
On Wednesday, deputy Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya told Parliament that Government was concerned with the high malnutrition levels in the country and had therefore egaged stakeholders including civil society in coming up with a revised policy on addressing the problem.
But Mr Chilufya said it was unfortunate that the ministry had failed to take the document to Parliament which was the only remaining process before implementation.
“We have it on paper but what is happening is not in line with the requirements to ending high malnutrition among the people. What we need is action, not speeches,” Mr Chilufya said.
Zambia has one of the higest levels of stunted growth in Africa affecting over 45 percent of children under the age of 5 years.