‘Tackling Childhood Malnutrition’ programme in Bangladesh
The ‘Tackling Childhood Malnutrition’ programme was launched in Bangladesh on 19 May 2013, Saturday with the aim of training 900 health workers and providing key nutrition services and counseling to 110,000 children and 18,000 women in Satkania of Chittagong, Kulaura of Maulavibazar and Muladi of Barisal, says a press release. The project was launched at Institute of Public Health and Nutrition on Saturday. Dr Makhduma Nargis, Additional Secretary and PD, RCHCIB was the chief guest and Mr Ganesh Chandra Sarker as the special guest. The event was chaired by Dr Subash Kumar Saha, Additional Director General of Health Services. Kamran Bakr, Chairman, Unilever, was present in the programme. This programme is being implemented jointly by MOH and FW’s National Nutrition Services (under the Institute of Public Health and Nutrition), Revitalisation of Community Health Care Initiatives in Bangladesh (RCHCIB) and Save the Children, funded by Unilever.
Earlier, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Dr Makhduma Nargis, Additional Secretary and Project Director of RCHCIB, Prof Dr Md Ekhlasur Rahman, Director, IPHN, DGHS, and Michael Foley, Director Health and Nutrition, Save the Children. The aim of the programme is to reduce child malnutrition in Bangladesh - where over 40 per cent of children are stunted while 16 per cent are wasted - by facilitating the scale up of the Government’s National Nutrition Services (NNS). This multi-year project will end in October of 2015.
Political Commitments in Bangladesh
The success of nutrition interventions, such as the School Nutrition Program, relies on support and coordination from government. While in Bangladesh, GAIN COO John Fairhurst and Chairman of the Board Jay Naidoo met with the Minister of Industries, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, and Minister of Primary and Mass Education.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith said at a press briefing at the secretariat in Dhaka yesterday that “The government will continue tax breaks for different sectors until 2015 instead of bringing an end to it this year”. The government will reduce the subsidies in agriculture to Tk 9,000 crore from Tk 12,000 crore. “The allocation will be lower, but there will be no arrears in the incentives this time.”Muhith was taking questions from reporters after receiving a set of 58 recommendations for the agriculture sector prepared by Shykh Seraj, media personality and chief news editor of private television Channel i. The recommendations were prepared by the team of an agriculture-based television show — Hridoye Mati O Manush. From now, only the finance ministry will process cash incentives allocated for different sectors, as the parent ministries fail to disburse the fund efficiently, Muhith said.“I am very much disappointed with the livestock ministry, which failed to utilise a fund of Tk 100 crore efficiently in the current budget. It received all kinds of incentives in the last four years, but it did nothing.”Many multinational companies have started commercial production of eggs and chickens in Bangladesh without any right to do that, the minister said.