Myanmar’s very first Interim Report of Myanmar Micronutrient and Food Consumption Survey was introduced in a dissemination workshop at Mingalar Thiri Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
Speaking at the workshop, Dr. Myint Htwe, Union Minister for Health and Sports, said the results of the survey suggests our present situation should be labelled as a national nutritional emergency. He said nutritional development is the most essential component for both physical and mental development in each citizen. He said nutritional health issues can cause malnutrition, obesity, underconsumption or overconsumption of micronutrients, and can occur in anyone.
The Union Minister explained that malnutrition in pregnant mothers can affect the embryo and the same conditions for breastfeeding mothers can affect their children. He explained that those effects will have harmful effects on the children’s physical and mental development and will weaken their immune system making them more susceptible to diseases.
Short-term malnutrition usually results in thin body structures but can be treated while the effects of chronic malnutrition are mostly treatable except for stunting, said Dr. Myint Htwe. He said preventing and administering early treatment for malnutrition is important. He said nutrition promotion programs encompasses numerous sectors and cannot be accomplished by the Ministry of Health and Sports alone. It needs the cooperation of other relevant ministries, he said.
The Union Minister said that they must consult the survey to decide to what degree work must begin on ensuring people have access to affordable, clean, and nutritional regional produce, school-age children are receiving the nutrition they need, and the public is well versed on healthcare to select nutritional food best for them.
Next, Dr. Myint Myint Than, Deputy Director-General of the Public Health Department, and other officials explained the steps taken for compiling the survey, the preface of the interim report, methods and interim results of conducting the survey, and the lab results of the samples of blood, urine and stool conducted during the survey period.
Afterwards, the attendees engaged in discussions and made decisions on future processes.
(Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)