By Tefera Teklu

Two-day training on tackling malnutrition was given to Amhara Regional State journalists in Bahir Dar by Save the Children Ethiopia.

The first day’s session – ‘Nutrition Basics and Why Nutrition Matters’ – was presented by Assistant Professor, Demewez M.H. from Food Science and Nutrition Department of Bahir Dar University. He stated that Ethiopia faces the four major forms of malnutrition: stunting (height-for-age), underweight (weight-for-age), wasting(weight-for-height) and low birth weight.

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Group exercise (Tefera)

He also said that school children who are affected by health and nutrition-related problems will have limited ability to thrive and benefit from education. Hence, a child who is undernourished is at risk of suffering from cognitive and physical impairment which impacts the quality of life as a child and as an adult. Besides this, stunted children are more likely to repeat grades in school or even drop out.

He suggested that a strong multi-sectoral coordination amongst the sectors of health, agriculture, education, water and sanitation, and women’s empowerment to efficiently and effectively use resources to tackle the problem.

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Monitoring group discussions

The second day’s session focused on ‘Owning Nutrition – Media’s Role’ and ‘Media Reporting of Nutrition Issues’ which were presented by Dr. Million Shibeshi and Kenaw Gebreselassie of Save the Children and Tefera Teklu of Link Ethiopia. Link Ethiopia became a member of the Ethiopia Civil Society Coalition for Scaling Up Nutrition three months ago.

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Group exercise (Kenaw)

Finally, Dr. Dejene Girma of Save the Children gave a talk on what the Ethiopia Civil Society Coalition for Scaling Up Nutrition is and what it is doing in the fight to tackle malnutrition. Stunting rate in Amhara Region is 52%, the highest from all the regions. Tigray Region with 51.4% and Afar Region with 50.2% are the other highly affected regions of Ethiopia.