Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition (CSO-SUN) Alliance has expressed fear that malnutrition amongst citizens may make the deadly COVID-19 thrive.
Zambia has recorded 3954 COVID-19 infections with 139 deaths.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), COVID-19 is often more severe in people who are older than 60 years or who have health conditions like lung or heart disease, diabetes or conditions that affect their immune system.
In a statement, CSO-SUN Alliance communication officer Nsungwe Mulendema said her organisation was concerned that the COVID-19 recorded fatalities in Zambia were a result of poor nutrition.
“This goes to show that malnutrition may exacerbate COVID-19 and that more attention should be given to nutrition and diet in the fight against COVID-19,” she said.
Mulendema said there was strong evidence linking a particular dietary pattern to the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.
“However it is undeniable the role good nutrition plays in supporting the immune system, maintaining proper immune function and overall health,” she said.
“Nutrition must be an essential pillar of COVID-19 recovery and preparedness – to build immunity and resilience of people and communities,” she added.
Mulendema said CSO-SUN Alliance called on the government and other stakeholders to continue promoting nutrition and wellness in the fight against COVID-19 as well as disseminating messages on healthy diets as a preventative measure.