The Midlands State University Department of Food Science and Nutrition partnered with Zimbabwe Civil Society Organisations Scaling Up Nutrition Alliance (ZCSOSUNA) in a capacity building workshop held on Friday the 14th of August 2015 in line with the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset).
ZCSOSUNA is a network of national and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs); community based organisations (CBOs), the media, academia, and professional bodies geared towards scaling up food and nutrition security in Zimbabwe.
The workshop kicked off with welcome remarks from the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology, Mr Alex Mukwembi who emphasised the importance of the academia in scaling up nutrition in Zimbabwe. A presentation on the overview of nutrition and malnutrition status in Zimbabwe with specific focus on underweight, stunting, wasting and micro-nutrient deficiencies was given by Mrs Chinofunga from the Department of Food Science and Nutrition.
The presentation presented evidence based intervention points in line with ZimAsset’s cluster of Food Security and Nutrition which seeks to build a prosperous, diverse and competitive food security and nutrition sector that contributes significantly to national development through the provision of an enabling environment for sustainable economic empowerment and social transformation.
Also among the presenters was Mrs Rutendo Kandawasvika-Magwenzi, the Midlands Province Nutritionist, who presented on the Food and Nutrition Policy Framework of Zimbabwe highlighting intervention points within the Ministry of Health’s nutrition programming.
“The workshop has presented Midlands State University with an opportunity to partake in nutrition issues from national and global perspective and as a department we thus seek to use partnership as a practical pedestal to address nutrition issues in Zimbabwe,” said Mrs Makamure, the chairperson of the Department of Food Science and Nutrition.
The workshop also had roundtable discussions from the media, academia, community based organisations and non-governmental representatives on their role in scaling up nutrition in Zimbabwe. Amongst, the main issues that needed urgent attention was the need for ZCSOSUNA, through the academia, to carry out food and nutrition security research in Zimbabwe for them to come up with evidence based initiatives.
In his closing remarks, Mr Chris Mweembe, the National Co-ordinator of ZCSOSUNA presented on some funding opportunities which exist to the Civil Society Organisations and the ground-work that has been covered by the Alliance . He furthermore underscored the need to take cognisance of the existing indigenous knowledge systems and graft all nutrition interventions on them.
Staff members from the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, CBOs and NGOs operating in Midlands Province attended the workshop.