14 August 2019
World Breastfeeding Week and Nutrition Promotion Weeks in Myanmar began on Wednesday.
The motto of the weeks is “Invest in Nutrition: Join Hands in Building the Nation”. In 2019, August has been designated as Nutrition Promotion Month when township, district and regions and states level activities with public involvement are carried out. 4 main themes are set for the month with 1 activity for each week – proper breastfeeding week, nutrition promotion for children under the age of 5 and school-age children week, nutrition promotion for pregnant women and lactating mothers week and elimination of Iodine deficiency diseases and food fortification week.
Deputy Director General, Yangon Region Health Department, Dr. Tun Myint said “Today, we gave Vitamin A tablets and anti-worm medicine as a sample for the coming weeks. Fortified rice is needed for nutrition promotion of the public. It is the rice added with necessary vitamins and minernals. That’s why we are working together with rice mill owners with the support of Path for fortified rice production.”
Vitamin A tablets will be given out to children aged between 2 to 9 and primary, middle and high school students as part of the 2nd week activities. In the third week, Iron supplements and Vitimin B1 tablets will be distributed to pregnant women and lactating mothers. During the 4th week, the problems of Iodine and Microbiologist Nutrition deficiencies will be addressed to get solutions.
Deputy Director General, Yangon Region Health Department, Dr. Tun Myint said “We expected 100% of the households to use Iodized Salt but there is only 67%. So, we need to accelerate our tasks by cooperating with salt businesses. We also need to spread awareness on Iodine to players from markets, schools and health officers. The public will become healthier if salt businesses produce quality iodized salt.”
Usage of Iodized Salt in Myanmar stays low, pointed out by Microbiologist Nutrition and Food Consumption Survey conducted in 2018. In Yangon region, only 67% of total households are using Iodized Salt. 30% of children under 5 years old are suffering from anemia and 21% have smaller builts than an average child due to malnutrition.
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