The wife of the president,Dr Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has stressed the need for Nigeria to work towards the sustainable development goals of eliminating poverty, zero hunger and saving lives by 2030.
The wife of the who was represented by the wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, stated this at the 2020 virtual meeting on nutrition in Nigeria, organized by the Aisha Buhari Foundation, International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH) and other development partners.
She said despite the efforts made to improve nutrition, children were still dying from malnutrition,and some due to the negative effect might not be able to become competent adults in Nigeria
According to Mrs Buari, “Nigeria has second largest number of stunted children in the world that may never be able to have an ultimately productive adult life,”
The Vice President , Professor Yemi Osinbajo said there was need to increase domestic funding for nutrition by involving the private sector.
“States in Nigeria must develop unique ways of raising funds to improve nutrition”improved collaboration and innovative thinking would be required to scale interventions and effectively address the problem.”
“Clearly, we need to increase domestic financing. And the only way to do so is to look more at what we can do at both the Federal and State levels. But more importantly, to direct funding to communities with the greatest needs.”
The vice president identified several competing needs for resources that can make a real difference in what ends up in the federal and state budgets.
In an opening remark, Senior Special Assistance to the President on Women Affairs and Administration, Office of the First Lady, Dr Hajo Sani said the main goal of the meeting was to work together with all stakeholders to improve funding for nutrition in Nigeria.
“For multisectoral actors and champions to support and take key actions, to protect nutritionally vulnerable groups given the importance of nutrition to health and national development.”
“Malnutrition has been a major public health problem in Nigeria and a global concern, the situation is more worrisome in children below the age of 5 years and pregnant women.”
“It is therefore critical to strengthen and broaden multisectoral nutrition coalition to ensure that actors work as effective as possible to prevent a full blown national crisis.”
“As we all know addressing malnutrition is complex and requires concerted efforts by all stakeholders lack of financial mechanism is why this meeting has been convened.”
On his part,the Minster of Health, Dr Enahire Osagie said it was becoming increasingly necessary to involve the private sector to complement public sector efforts in nutrition in Nigeria.
“Investment in nutrition is cost-effective because it causes children to reach their full potential.”he said.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, promised to follow-up with the Executive for the reinstatement of the Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food, RUTF budget which was removed from the 2020 budget.
“The RUTF fund situation is quite unfortunate, especially because it’s due to the review of the budget from COVID19”
The Executive Secretary, CS_SUNN,Mrs Beatrice Eluaka, noted that financing nutrition in Nigeria had been bedeviled with many challenges which have to be dealt with through innovative financing.