Information Minister Calls For Concerted Effort To Fight Malnutrition
The Minister of Information,Alhaji Lai Mohammed has called for concerted efforts to fight malnutrition as well as ensure the attainment of SDG goal 2 .
The minister stated this in Yola,the Adamawa state capital, at a United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF media dialogue on child malnutrition .
Alhaji Mohammed, who was represented by Head, Child Rights Information Bureau FMIC, Mr Olumide Osanyinpeju,observed that investment in nutrition would reduce the negative trend of malnutrition for healthy life of children across Nigeria.
“Malnutrition is a large burden to a country, and tackling it entails empowering and educating people. Improved nutrition is key to improved national and human development team and this can be done by educating the populace and creating a positive approach towards nutrition,”
“We must design the strategic objectives of improving food security at the national, community and household levels. To reduce malnutrition among infants and children, adolescents and women of reproductive age; to significantly reduce micro-nutrients deficiency disorders, especially among the vulnerable group and to increase knowledge of nutrition among the populace and nutrition education into formal and informal training,”
According to him “Improved nutrition is the key to improved national and human development and this can be done by educating the populace and creating a positive approach towards nutrition,”
In a paper presentation,“Child Malnutrition and the emergency in Northeast” UNICEF Nutrition Consultant, Dr. Davis Omotola,revealed that Nigeria has 25 million children under 5 that are wasted (too thin for their age) while 10 million are stunted .
“2. 6 million children in Nigeria are suffering from acute Malnutrition, with 84.4% cure rate of children admitted.”
“If we don’t get it right before the children get to the age of 5 years, we will continue to have lots of problems in the area of nutrition.”
Dr. Omotola said the cluster of malnutrition in north-east was mostly among children between 6-59 months and causes stunting, wasting and weight loss.
He stressed the need for Nigerians to understand that wasting was similar to death sentence for a child and stunting similar to life sentence.
The UNICEF Nutrition office Bauchi state, Dr. Martins Jackson, frowned at the attitudes of some health workers who advice mothers against exclusive breastfeeding.