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CULTURE DILUTION PART OF NUTRITION PROBLEM

Minister of Justice, Law and Constitutional Affairs, Mr  Richard Ramoeletsi says dilution of culture is partly to blame for the problems of nutrition that Lesotho is facing.

He was officiating a one-day workshop on nutrition for Principal Chiefs, Mr Ramoeletsi said Basotho have adapted ways which are not part of their culture which play a big part in the challenges of nutrition in this country.

He highlighted that Principal Chiefs are expected to lead campaigns on nutrition policy countrywide to ensure inclusion and correct information dissemination, whose aim he said is to curb stunting and other forms of malnutrition in the country.

Amongst his concerns, the minister spoke to abuse, poor hygiene, clean water accessibility and climate change adaptation strategies, indicating that nutrition is not the only threat that is faced by the Basotho nation.

He underscored the importance and seriousness of nutrition for children, men and women at the reproduction age and the elderly.

Echoing the minster’s remarks, Nutritionist from the office of the Prime Minister, Mrs ‘Mapaballo Putsoa said different types of malnutrition are experienced in the country, citing macronutrient malnutrition. She said  micronutrition  is a lack of vitamins and minerals while overnutrition is the excessive consumption of nutrients that is also associated with communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

She added that maternal and child mortality, disabilities such as blindness, mental retardation, deafness and mutism are some of the consequences of malnutrition.

Annual costs associated with child under nutrition is approximately M1.9 billion which makes 7.13 percent of the GDP.

The latest study on malnutrition shows a 33.2 percent of stunting in Lesotho, 2.8 percent of wasting and a 7.4 percent of overweight, all in 2014.

Mokhotlong, Thaba-Tseka and Butha-Buthe present 43.7, 40 and 40 percent of chronic malnutrition, respectively, and they are reported to be the highest in the country.

Source: Lesotho News Agency (LENA) 05/07/2024

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