The Sun News

FG urged to fund nutrition to save children

By Doris Obinna

The Federal Government has been urged to commit adequate funds to address the growing menace of malnutrition.
The call came justs as experts and stakeholders are saying that  the way to avert the danger of malnutrition is for the country to not just fund projects targeted at treating the millions of children stunted by malnutrition but commit to awareness campaigns to prevent the disease.
Speaking at a one-day symposium on ‘malnutrition, child development and the media’ organised by the Media Centre Against Child Malnutrition (MeCAM), Sunday Okoronkwo, a project manager at the Civil Society on Scaling Up Nutrition Nigeria (CS-SUNN), explained that the country currently does not have proper funding to address the problem, warning also that figures such as 11m Nigerian children being stunted may well be a poor representation of the reality.
Okoronkwo, lamented that the country’s $912m action plan on nutrition for the years 2014 through 2019 remains largely unfunded, with Nigeria’s $100m counterpart funding of the policy hardly making it into the annual budgets.
According to him, the country’s 2017 budget has no provision for the plan which expires in 2019.
Speaking on ‘Dealing with nutritional Fads and Fallacies,’ Dr. Aminu Garba, chairman of CHRI, called for declaration of emergency on malnutrition, called for sustained media engagement, among other steps, to address the many fallacies around the question of nutrition.
Garba outlined these to include cultural claims that giving newborns colostrum exposes them to witchcraft or that children and women should not eat meat or take adequate milk.
Meanwhile, the national coordinator of MeCAM, Nigeria, Remmy Nweke, said the organisation evolved from the unique need for the media to respond to the national emergency on malnutrition. He insisted that government’s funding to combat malnutrition is not “commensurate” to the volume and potential consequences of the unfolding crisis.
Also in attendance were other top pro-nutrition civil society groups, including Community Health and Research Initiative (CHRI), Scaling Up Nutrition Business Network Nigeria and Global Alliance on Improved Nutrition (GAIN).


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1 Comment

  1. susan 17th August 2017 at 11:34 pm

    A country where the children are not well looked after is a doomed country plain and simple. A country where the adults steal food from the mouths of the children without any shame is a doomed country. I weep for the innocent children of Nigeria, they are attacked from all angles by those who are supposed to be their keepers, they are even used for rituals by their so called keepers, they are robbed of a good education and medical care by their so called keepers. Its a crying shame to see the life slowly drained out of our children. God will never forgive us for not looking after the children. Shame on state governments, civil servants and local governments who dont give a damn as they loot funds meant for the children and send their own children abroad to study. But i know that the almighty shall punish all these shameless looters starving our children to death, the same goes for shameless adults who celebrate these criminals in high places they are just as bad. God be with the children of Nigeria and deliver them from the clutches of evil men and women in our society. Amen.

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