A GERMANY-BASED sustainable agriculture promotion organization, Welthungerhilfe, says “too much maize” which Zimbabweans consume as well as their poor eating practices are some of the sources of non-communicable diseases stunting and killing them.
This was said by Welthungerhilfe Gokwe office project manager, Thomas Heyland while addressing journalists attending a public discussion on food production and its impact on health.
The event was organized by HIVOS and hosted by MISA, Harare advocacy committee, in the capital Tuesday evening.
Heyland said a lot of non-communicable diseases which have become common are caused by poor diet.
Such diseases caused by poor feeding practices include high blood pressure, cancer and diabetics which are now killing people more than HIV.
Traditionally, the majority of Zimbabweans are used to eating Sadza as their staple diet and rarely do they opt for other foods.
“Some of the food stuffs are healthy for you, and I know that it’s a cultural issue but it is all about diversity, if you only eat maize you will die because clearly maize lacks important minerals and you do not get enough of protein in maize and there are lots of issues with it,” he said.
“So I think it’s more of an educational issue and who to do it I would not know,” said Heyland.
Poor eating practices also cause obesity, stunting in children and causes excessive bleeding in women during birth.
Heyland said stunting in most rural Zimbabwean children is caused by eating chicken intestines.
“For the children there are a lot of theories including hygiene issues, that some of these rural children eat too much chicken faeces; let me be polite about it, the human system is in constant defiance of these unwanted substances in the body,” he said.
According to the ministry of Health and Child Care, 27% of the children under the age of 5 years, are stunted.