Following the worsening trend of malnutrition in the country, Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), has harped on the need for federal and state governments to scale up its intervention on nutrition.
Executive secretary CS-SUNN, Mrs Beatrice Eluaka who said the alarming malnutrition burden has impeded the nation’s economic development, maintained that the scale up would smoothen operations in the provision of Speaking during a round table on Partnership for improving Nigeria Nutrition Systems(PINNS) in Abuja, she noted that it has been proven by development partners that inadequate dietary intake, inadequate access to good nutrition, inadequate care for children and women were the underlying causes that mitigate against nutrition.
She further noted that stunting which was currently an indicator for measuring a country’s development index, was on the increase in Nigeria as seen in the 2017 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey which puts stunting rate at 43.6 per cent as against 32.9 per cent in 2015 .
“The Wasting rate in 2017 is at 10.8 per cent as against 7.2 per cent in 2015 and Underweight at 31.5 per cent in 2017, as against 19.4 per cent in 2015.
Wasting is when a child is too thin for his/her height, it is referred to as acute malnutrition.
“Stunted children have poor physical growth. We need to address stunting issue in the country so as to prevent malnutrition. In order to tackle the issue of malnutrition, the government need to address the immediate causes and the underlying factors.
“There is need for an effective coordination of nutrition activities both at the national and sub national levels.
We had a national plan of action that was not fully implemented due to poor funding and lack of understanding of the role of policy makers,“ she said.
The project manager of CS-SUNN, Mr. Sunday Okoronkwo, emphasized the need for increased funding for nutrition Intervention at both the federal and state level.
While disclosing that the lack of transparency of government to fund allocations in some states have hampered the growth of nutrition interventions, he disclosed that the PINNS project was meant to strengthen nutrition governance in the country.
“The decision Making process as it relates to managing nutrition in some states is somehow limited.The states have to go through rigorous process before getting money from government.”
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