Rwanda: Persisting stunting results from leaders and parents’ irresponsibility

Rwanda: Persisting stunting results from leaders and parents’ irresponsibility
6-03-2018 | By Karegeya Jean Baptiste | Hit 3059 | Comment

Food insecurity remains a significant threat in Rwanda, 38% children are chronically malnourished and underweight.

This topic was discussed during the 15th Leadership Retreat closed last week: President Kagame was worrying, MINALOC State Minister, Mukabaramba enumerated about 15 billion oriented there, but no outcome. Parents and leaders need more responsibility!

The Government of Rwanda attempted to find a lasting solution to food insecurity and malnutrition. Free distribution of Shisha Kibondo, one cup of milk per child, Girinka program, ect; are some of government initiatives to address malnutrition and stunting among the most vulnerable population.

Shisha Kibondo flour is a blend of maize, soya, milk powder, sugar, vitamins & minerals. It is used to make a highly nutritious complementary porridge for infants and young children older than 6 months. The porridge is a complementary food that contributes to a child’s good health and development while they continue to breastfeed to at least two years of age.

There, at Gabiro, Mukabaramba talked of 9 billion, plus 5 billion in malnutrition program, but no results.

Parents and leaders need more ownership

The Girinka program has been a burning issue in Rwandan media few years ago: some cows were given to leaders relatives, or under more conditions like bribe. All leaders involved have been apprehended but finally left free (cases in Nyamagabe, Kayonza, in districts of Northern Province, etc).

Regarding milk in schools and health centers, the same leadership watches the game.
School leaders, teachers and health workers sell products in shops, where leaders pass day and night.

Burera: Police is holding three workers of Ruhombo health centre in connection with theft of nutritional supplements. Those arrested include the health centre laboratory assistant, an accountant and one in charge of social affairs at the health center. According to Police, the trio had used ghost names of beneficiaries to allocate themselves the shares. They are said to have connived and stole the flour from the stores at the health centre.

Nyamagabe: Three were arrested and the released end of last year. Milk and flour for children were embezzled by the Head Teacher with her accountant at a school in Kigeme cell. All are free today.

According to Nteziryayo Andre, District Education Officer, “ Those workers were making good reports and submit them on time. But from information from parents and students, the district staff made a field supervision, and got evidences, that reports were fabricated”.

Rubavu: The same scenario at Nyundo heath center. Parents, workers and leaders, take it as a habit; but nothing is done.

The worker says, “we’ve been always raising this issue, but in vain. There is no change, milk for malnourished children is sold by authorities”.

Tuyishime Jean Bosco, Nyundo sector leader, confirmed the information. “We’ve been aware of it, and we intercepted one lady carrying a box of milk out of the Health Center, saying she got it from responsible”, Igihe.com.

Muhanga: Police intercepted a pick full of milk in Muhanga district, May last year. Boxes of milk belonged to the accountant of Gitarama Health center. When the accountant was arrested, his team was in conspiracy out, arranging his release, while the person charged of social affairs fled from job, according to Umuseke.com.

All in all, there is a need to own children’s programs. If parents don’t manage to feed, the country would, under responsible leaders. Those products are branded, wherever they are sold in shops, anyone can notice, but we keep quiet. The more these children suffer, the more the country loose future.

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