ZCSOSUNA Engages Nutrition Champions To Raise Awareness In Communities

THE Zimbabwe Civil Society Organisations Scaling Up Nutrition Alliance (ZCSOSUNA) is in the process of engaging experts from various fields to act as Nutrition Champions in a bid to drive the nutrition message at grassroots level.

By Michael Gwarisa

The nutrition champions will be drawn from Media, Music and Arts industry, Parliament, Private Sector and government.

Speaking on the development, ZCSOSUNA National Coordinator, Mr Kudakwashe Zombe said the move was meant to simplify and demystify some of the myths society has on nutrition through using individuals they are familiar with.

We have a network which is chaired by UNICEF, we have a donor network which is co-chaired by the European Union and USAID. We have the business network which is still in its infancy and we also have us the civil society network.

“We have been working with parliamentarians in trying to ensure that each and everyone gets the right nutrition. But we also realised that there is another component which we want to bring on board which is the component of Nutrition Champions. These are people who are influential, people who can assist us in pushing the cause,” said Mr Zombe.

He added that society was more welcoming and receptive to messages that are disseminated by famous people such as Radio DJs, Journalists, Musicians, parliamentarians among others.

“In the context of COVID-19, we have messages from the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement, we also have messages from the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) nutrition department but the dissemination part was a challenge.

“The messages are there but the question are they being disseminated? No. At times if it is Civil Society that is disseminating those messages, it’s a challenge. One of the reasons why we are engaging nutrition champions is that we want you you to assist us in the dissemination of messages.”

He also said their target was to reach 15 nutrition champions from across the mentioned sectors and also get opinion leaders to speak boldly about nutrition in their communities and spheres of influence.

He added that Parliamentarians were key in during the nutrition message and they were working closely on a project which will see a Lactation room being established at parliament as a means of demystifying issues around breastfeeding as well as encourage lactating professional mothers to exclusively breastfeed.



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