Participants at a virtual media parlay on malnutrition has identified innovative financing of nutrition and public enlightenment as keys to malnutrition challenges in the country.
One of them, the wife of Kebbi state Governor, Dr Zainab Bagudu, called for partnerships between the Government and the Private sector on ways to address nutrition gaps among Nigerians especially children.
According to the National Demographic health survey 2018, 7% of children below the age of five are wasted while 58% of women of child bearing ages are anaemic.
It says, with national prevalence rate of 37% among children within same age limit, the country has the second highest number of stunted children in the world.
For example, there is 66% malnutrition problem in Kebbi state which the wife of the Governor, Dr Zainab Bagudu who was a participant at the meeting linked to lack of awareness.
Dr Bagudu therefore called for the involvement of civil society organisations in nutrition Sensitization, especially in the worst hit states.
Wife of the governor lamented the alarming rate of malnutrition in the state, despite massive investment of the state Governor to address the problem.
For the director general of NOA, Dr Garba Abari, poverty and ignorance was the bane of nutrition in the country, hence the need for aggressive enlightenment of the people on nutrition.
On her part, the Executive Secretary, CS-sun, Mrs Beatrice Eluaka spoke on the need for alternative financing mechanisms for nutrition and for sustained reportage of nutrition issues by journalists.
“Nutrition Security exists when all people at all times, consume food of sufficient quantity and quality, in terms of variety, diversity, nutrient content and safety to meet their dietary needs and preferences for an active and healthy life coupled with a sanitary environment, adequate health, education and care”
“Achieving nutrition security for all people has become a tall order with the current burden of malnutrition which has remained a great source of concern particularly in developing countries, including Nigeria.” she said.
Nutrition Advocacy Specialist , UNICEF , Zakaria Fusheini who described nutrition as children’s right, called for massive investment in nutrition to safeguard the health of the Children
Mr Fusheini said the gap in equity has contributed immensely to the rate of malnutrition among children in Nigeria.
The virtual meeting on nutrition was organised by International Society of Media in Public Health in collaboration with SAM advocacy partners- Aisha Buhari foundation, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center, among others.