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Analytical summary - Food safety and nutrition

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Food safety and nutrition are important determinants of health in Zambia. Issues of food safety are addressed through environmental health services, whose objective is to promote, improve health through adhering to food safety standards, and maintaining conditions necessary for the prevention of disease. In order to strengthen this area, the country has formulated a draft National Environmental Health Policy. Further, the legislation relating to food and drugs (The Food and Drugs Regulations 2001), has been reviewed and updated to take into account challenges brought globalization and its effect on food safety, and other associated risks.

Access to good nutrition is a major and cross-cutting determinant of health. In Zambia, malnutrition underlies up to 52% of all under-five deaths. The stunting rate in under-five children currently stands at 45%, with 5% being acutely malnourished (wasted) and 15% underweight. The rates of micronutrient deficiencies are also high, with 53% Vitamin A deficiency and 46% Iron deficiency anaemia (NFNC, 2003), while 4% of school aged children were at risk of mild to severe iodine disorders deficiency (NFNC, 2002).