The Office of the Prime Minister has pledged continued support and coordination to implementation of the nutrition programme to ensure success, according the Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda.
He noted that the national vision cannot be realized without a healthy and productive population. ‘Citizens who are well nourished are more productive and less susceptible to diseases which in return enables them to save and invest’, he said.
The Premier made the remarks while delivering a key note address at the launch of the Parliamentary Forum on Nutrition at the office of the President Conference Hall in Kampala.
Dr Rugunda said government recognizes nutrition as a key factor in development and transformation of the country. ‘Vision 2040 and the Global Sustainable Development Agenda can only be attained with nutrition being a front runner’, he said.
He said research indicates that malnutrition has a negative impact on education and health. ‘A poorly fed child cannot pay full attention to teachers while in class’, the Premier said. He observed that there was still increased cases of malnutrition in Uganda especially in the Tooro, Bugisu, Karamoja, Bunyoro and west Nile regions, where stunting levels stand at 29%.
The speaker of Parliament, Hon Rebecca Kadaga, who was the chief guest, urged members of the Parliamentary Forum on Nutrition committee to coordinate with the line ministries of health and Agriculture to facilitate the nutrition project.
She also asked the cultural leaders in Uganda to ensure that there is food security in their areas. ‘As cultural leaders, you have the responsibility of ensuring that there is enough food for your subjects’, Hon Kadaga said. She also called upon all care takers to monitor and supervise the diet of children especially those in school.
The chairperson of the Parliamentary Forum on Nutrition, Innocent Pentagon Kamusiime said the forum will provide a strong lobbying point for Parliament to advocate and champion prioritization of food and nutrition security in the national development agenda.
He added that the forum will enable citizens to galvanize their efforts to stamp out malnutrition in Uganda. He said that improving nutrition is an element of development and has high returns on investments.
BY DOREEN NASASIRA