DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Tanzanian government on Thursday launched a new project to reduce chronic malnutrition in children in Lake Zone regions of Mwanza, Shinyanga, Geita, Kagera and Kigoma.
A statement issued in Dar es Salaam said the project known as Mtoto Mwerevu, a Kiswahili term for a "Smart Child", will be implemented in partnership with the Britain's Department for International Development (UKAID).
The statement said the project aimed at reducing the prevalence of stunting by at least 7 percent within 4 years, preventing stunting in more than 50,000 children under five.
"The project targets mothers and caretakers who play a key role in shaping and improving nutrition behaviors," said the statement.
It said the project will reach more than 3 million mothers and caretakers and will influence over 8 million people in the project areas.
The project will employ mass media campaigns, home visits, support groups, collaboration with civil-society groups and support to regional- and district-level authorities to positively impact nutrition behaviors, according to the statement.
George Simbachawene, Minister of State in the President's Office responsible for Regional Administration Local Government Authorities, launched the project saying stunting was a major threat to the countrty's health and economy.
Tanzania's Demographic and Health Survey 2015-2016 estimates that every 1 in 3 children in Tanzania are affected by stunting.