Zimbabwe has seen the number of malnutrition cases rising lately due to the drought-induced food insecurity and the deteriorating economy.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) indicated in its latest report that the majority of households in the country require food assistance to prevent a worse-off scenario. Said the humanitarian office:
The number of pellagra cases reported has continued to increase in Zimbabwe. As per routine data, 1 258 pellagra cases were recorded between January to July 2020, which is double compared to the 667 cases over the same period last year.
Following increases from 88 pellagra cases in March to 141 in April, 224 in May and 248 in June, 169 cases were reported for July 2020. The numbers of pellagra cases are likely to continue to increase as food insecurity in the country deepens and household income for accessing diversiﬁed diets continues to be depleted by the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown and economic crisis.
The UN office observes that nationally 56 percent of women were consuming less than ﬁve groups of recommended foods.
Zimbabwe has had acute food shortages since 2019 promoting the government to import and subsidise maize grain and or mealie-meal.
Back in March when the coronavirus lockdown was involved, the government pledged but did not commit to distributing cushioning packages to vulnerable members of the society to shield them from the effects of the lockdown.
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