Research findings examining drivers of change in nutrition over the last 25 years in Bugesera and Kirehe Districts was this Friday presented by Rwanda Development Organization (RDO) together with partners under the Voice for Change Partnership (V4CP).
The study dubbed Stories of Change was launched at Silent Hotel in Kayonza by the Governor of Eastern Province, Fred Mufulukye who welcomed the findings saying they will help his province to improve where things are not going well.
“We applaud and appreciate efforts by partners who show us what we are doing and what is not going well, therefore these findings will help us improve those areas that are still ragging behind,” the Governor said.
The Mayors of Bugesera and Kirehe recognised the role played by RDO and its partners under V4CP project that is working to bring down stunting and malnutrition.
Eugene Rwibasira, the Executive Secretary of RDO said that the Stories of Change studies were conducted across the country in two districts per province. The districts were selected based on stunting prevalence and stunting reduction determined by the 2015 DHS survey in Rwanda.
Presenting the study, Rwibasira observed that the study was aimed at documenting and sharing the story of what has worked in Rwanda to decrease malnutrition among children less than 5 years of age and women of reproductive age in the last 25 years.
The study assessing the drivers of change in nutrition over time found that districts had improved their nutrition status. Among general contributors to improvements on nutrition were leadership, decentralisation, nutrition awareness as well sectoral contributors like agriculture.
The Executive Secretary of RDO said that the study found that as people developed there were new trends of poor feeding which are causing over weight. He said that obesity was on the rise which was also needed to curb down before its too late as has been seen in developed countries.
During the presentation of the findings, it was observed that Kirehe in the Eastern Province performed very well as compared to other districts in scaling down malnutrition from over 50% in 2010 to current 29%.
The Mayor of Kirehe District, Muzungu Gerald attributed his district’s higher performance in fighting against stunting and malnutrition to the awakening by President Kagame when he visited the area in 2008.
Participants in the dissemination workshop emphasized the need to keep up the pace if the country was to achieve the 2024 target of scaling down malnutrition to at least 19%.
Paul Mbonyi, Programs Manager of Rwanda Consumer’s Rights Protection Organisation (ADECOR) said that Stories of Change study is important for communities to learn from each other.
Mbonyi further added that nutrition sensitive agriculture should be adopted in the fight against stunting & malnutrition.
Stories of Change studies have been conducted in 10 districts across the country; Gakenke and Musanze in the Northern Province, Gisagara and Ruhango in the Southern Province, Bugesera and Kirehe in the Eastern Province, Rutsiro and Nyabihu in the Western Province, and in Kigali City, Nyarugenge and Gasabo.