Speak Nutrition, Health Minister Urges MPs
Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya has urged Members of Parliament to advocate for nutrition and ensure that it is high on the national agenda.
Speaking at Chaminuka Lodge during the recent one-and-a-half day Orientation of MPs on the First 1000 Most Critical Days, Dr Chilufya said, “Addressing nutrition will address more than half the challenges we have in the health sector and it begins with us the Members of Parliament. So I urge all of you to advocate for nutrition. We must pay particular attention to the first 1000 most critical days. We must understand it and if we ripple it in our constituencies that will save millions of lives”.
Citing nutrition as a key determinant of health, the Minister urged MPs to develop a thorough understanding of the key determinants of health. “We depend on MPs to advocate that our constituents have access to water and sanitation, nutrition, education (especially the girl child) as a key determinant of health. Our focus today on nutrition is to make sure that Zambians are sensitized that if we addressed nutrition, 70% of our health problems would vanish”, he said.
Dr Chilufya also said, “Children cannot make certain choices so we have to make sure that nutrition literacy is enhanced. Young mothers and fathers should ensure that we protect our children from becoming vulnerable to these nutrition-related conditions”. 
“Let’s use our positions to let the people know that getting back to our traditional foods is they way to go; we need to protect our people from ill health. Let’s not be fire fighters. Curative interventions are expensive. Let Alangizi (traditional marriage counsellors) and the media be advocates for nutrition. We must all speak the first 1000 Most Critical Days of life. Nutrition is the agenda of the moment”. 
During the orientation supported by Unicef and CARE SUN Fund, nineteen MPs were oriented on various aspects of the First 1000MCDP, the proposed NFNC Bill, the nutrition landscape in Zambia and how they could champion nutrition in their constituencies.



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