NGO tasks media on nutrition coverage
The Civil Society Scaling-up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), an NGO, has called on journalists to give more attention to nutrition issues in the country to address cases of malnutrition.
The CS-SUNN Executive Secretary, Mrs Beatrice Eluaka, made the call in Kano on Friday at an interactive session with representatives of various media organisations.
She said the task was necessary to attract policy makers and concerned stakeholders on the alarming burden of malnutrition which had continued to be a key contributor to infant and maternal mortality and morbidity.
According to her, malnutrition is also a contributor to poor cognitive development and increased severity of diseases adversely affecting under-five children in the state.
She tasked the media to step up the reportage of nutrition issues to attract policy makers and concerned stakeholders to take the right steps toward curbing malnutrition in Nigeria.
She said it was worrisome to note that the latest Multiple Cluster Indicator Survey (MICS 2017), showed an alarming increase in stunting and underweight rates of children in the state.
According to her, data from the MICS 2017 puts the stunting rate at 58.0 per cent, underweight at 40. 3 per cent with a reduced weight rate of 10.8 per cent, which is still above the WHO acceptable level.
She also called for an emergency action in Kano state.
The executive secretary, however, commended the state government for releasing N294 million in 2017, as counterpart fund for the purchase of Ready-to-Use-Therapeutic-Food for the management and treatment of severely malnourished children.
She also commended the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, who persistently demonstrated rare commitment towards addressing the burden of malnutrition in the communities.
She however called on the state government to improve on preventive measures like exclusive breastfeeding, appropriate infant and young child feeding practices and dietary diversification.
“This is to prevent more children becoming malnourished and to ensure that cured malnourished children do not relapse upon discharge from the treatment centres, as is currently the case in many communities,’’ she said.
According to her, CS-SUNN is a coalition of organisations with shared vision on the need to address deficiencies in food and nutrition.
NAN reports that the meeting is aimed at highlighting the nutrition situation in Kano state and government’s effort in addressing malnutrition menace for improved nutrition policy implementation and funding. (NAN)