Nutritionists call for training of maids to reduce stunted growth

Nutritionists call for training of maids to reduce stunted growth
NIPN nutrition expert demonstrating to journalists signs and effects on stunted growth

Kampala, Uganda | URN | National Information Platforms on Nutrition (NIPN) has called for door to door nutrition training for maids and parents in order to reduce stunted growth in urban areas.

Nutritionists say several children in well to do families have stunted growth and retarded brains due to lack of nutrition knowledge by maids who spend most of the time with children.

Charles Asiimwe, a NIPN Nutritionist, while speaking at Nutrition Data Communication and Journalism on Thursday, he said stunted growth in Kampala and neighbouring districts has increased to 18 percent up down from 14 five years ago.

Asiimwe attributes this to a number of factors among other parents leaving their children under the care of maids who lack basic nutrition skills. He said even when some parents have necessary foods in their homes, but the caregivers do not know the nutritious foods to feed the children.

NIPN said 85 out of every 100 children under 2 years do not get access the right diets and right variety of foods that could help to develop their bodies and brain. Asiimwe said once the child is above 23 months of age, it becomes difficult to correct the defects in his or her brain growth.

Patrick Nganzi, also NIPN Nutrition expert, said effects of brain damage manifest in adulthood and people tend to do strange things.

“You might see someone very violent or doing things that look weird in respect to his age and you wonder. It is because of stunted brain growth. He or she is unable to know whether he or she is doing is dangerous to him or others around them,” Nganzi said.

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Asiimwe added that there is need to address issues leading to student body and brain growth in schools resulting from failure to access hot meals. Asiimwe said studies conducted with the help of Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS) show that 66 per cent of children in schools do not have access to hot meals.

Asiimwe said parents should be part and partial in ensuring children access good meals at schools. This, he said would reduce cases of retarded body and brain development.