The Acting Executive Secretary of Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria, Sunday Okoronkwo has emphasized the need to evolve and adapt food security and malnutrition monitoring mechanisms to accurately identify nutrition hot spots where policy interventions and emergency aid are mostly required in the country.
He made the disclosure while briefing Journalist at the 2021 Nigeria Nutrition week, and the launching of National Multisectorial plan of action for food and nutrition.
According to him, there is need for all stakeholders to ensure that all Nigerians have access to nutritious food.
“Food insecurity affects affordability and availability of nutritious and adequate food supply, thus leading to malnutrition as affected people are not receiving the correct nutrition for their needs.”
In the same vein, he added that there is need to allocate and promptly release adequate fund for implementing nutrition plan in different MDAs budget.
The Acting Executive Secretary highlighted that the Nutrition Week with the theme Food System Transformation For Healthy Diets And Nutrition: “Our Collective Responsibility” draws attention to the urgent need for strategies and approaches towards attaining food and nutrition security in Nigeria.
” It is important to ensure that nutrition services like Vitamin A supplementation, De- worming, Iron Folate Acid supplementation to pregnant women, zinc /ORS, micro nutrient powder and IPT for malaria reach Nigerian households both at community and PHC levels”.
The Hon. Minister of state budget and national planning Prince Clem Ikanade Agba said a high number of Nigeria children has severe malnutrition.
“Although malnutrition is a global problem, Nigeria is among top country that is experiencing the situation.
According to the Nigeria demographic and health survey of 2018 “Nigeria has an estimated 2.5millon children under the age of five with severe malnutrition.”
“We want a situation where all children particularly the most vulnerable have access to safe and nutritious food.
Nutrition represent the wellbeing of the nation and is directly linked to human resources development productivity and economic growth”.
He said the campaign week have proved to be a numerical platform for intensifying awareness on the importance of food and nutrition.
” We can attest to some of the achievement recorded during the past edition of the programme. Inspite of the challenges we have been able to protect the health food system for healthy diet which is our collective responsibility”.
The Country Director of Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, Dr Michael Ojo said the launching of the national multisectorial action plan for food and nutrition will enable states to achieve nutrition objectives.
He highlighted that when the plan of action is properly implemented it seeks to drive and guide actions that will direct intervention and program activities that is focused on malnutrition in Nigeria.
“We need the leadership to drive the objective plan of partners that are effective. The role of Universities and Federal Ministry of finance budget and national planning must be strengthened.”