The Civil Society Scaling up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) has called for improved governance to end malnutrition, as there was still a huge burden on the populace.
The Executive Secretary of CS-SUNN Mr Sunday Okoronkwo, who stated this at a Media Roundtable On Reset Nutrition for Human Capital Development in Abuja, said there was need to advance Nigeria’s nutrition agenda for improved nutritional status of women, children and vulnerable groups.
This, he noted, would help to contribute to attaining the country’s Human Capital Development targets.
Okoronkwo, represented by Mrs Lilian Okafor, the Communication Officer of CS-SUNN, said the PINNS-2.0 project, highlighted the need for government’s commitment towards improving nutrition through strong nutrition governance.
“The project will ensure that data for planning and decision making is routinely available and that adequate domestic financing is made available to effectively deliver on nutrition services.
“The outcome will be a well-nourished child who grows up to become a major contributor to growing the country’s Gross Domestic Product, thus aligning to the country’s Human Capital Development objectives.”
The Executive Secretary further stated that the burden of malnutrition had remained a great source of concern in the country, with Nigeria having the highest number of stunted under-five aged children in Sub-Saharan African.
“Nigeria also has the second highest number of stunted children in the world, making malnutrition a significant public health problem in the country.
“Trends from the National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) puts the prevalence of stunting at 42 per cent in 2003, 41 per cent in 2008 and 37 per cent in 2013 and 2018 respectively.”
The Representative, Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mrs Chito Nelson, urged the media not to relent in playing its critical role in placing nutrition at the front burner in Nigeria.
She added that the Reset project was important to national development, especially in the aspect of nutritional outcome.
“Government has made a lot of commitment to resolve issues around malnutrition, and the plan is out there for implementation. We will not relent on what we are doing, there is room for improvement”.
Speaking at the event, the FCT Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalsits, Mr Emmanuel Ogbeche, emphasized the need for stakeholders in the nutrition sector to provide adequate data that will aid Journalists in bringing out well-written stories.
“Some government officials are not open and accessible when it comes to providing information on important issues such as nutrition. Adequate information will ensure that Journalist are well positioned to perform their role in the post COVID era”.