The Eastern Cape Social Development Department has launched a programme that is aimed at tackling malnutrition among children in rural areas.

The Intergrated Mother and Child Development & Support Programme was launched at St Elizabeth hospital in Lusikisiki.

Child malnutrition is common in a number of rural areas in the province .

Social Development MEC, Siphokazi Mani-Lusithi says they roped in other departments such as Health and Education to fight malnutrition.

“We noticed peopleĀ  in the rural areasĀ  suffer and are impacted more by malnutrition because of their livelihood and deprived predominantly from subsistant agriculture, migrant labour and social grants. The department has therefore resolved to increase the subsidised days for children in the ECD centres, children that are coming from the most impoverished and deprived backgrounds. These days will be supported with the R296 million that the department has launched in its budget vote, which means it will benefit 74 033 children.”