Nigeria’s First Lady, Her Excellency, Dr. Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has called on the Private Sector, particularly manufacturers of drugs and Food/Beverages Companies to a make commitment of producing the “Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food” (RUTF) locally in Nigeria, in order to make it more accessible everywhere, in a bid to finally end Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in the Country.
She spoke during an interactive session with stakeholders from the Private Sector and relevant government organizations at the State House in Abuja.
Aisha called on the Federal and State Governments to ensure, through the enactment and operationalization of policies, to provide support for the local production and procurement of RUFT in Nigeria.
Participants at the session including development partners such as UNICEF, took turns to give account and statistics of Nigerian children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. They narrated that about 2.6 Nigerian children fall into this category every year, with 1 in 5 dying; while those that survive do not live to their full physical and mental potential, except when treated with RUTF. They also highlighted the efforts being made to manufacture fully made in Nigeria RUTF.
The First Lady noted that it is time for Nigeria to end the scourge of Severe Acute Malnutrition in Nigeria by ensuring that RUTF is available in the shelves of every pharmaceutical store. She finally called on all stakeholders to work towards meeting up with standards that demonstrate the Nation’s resourcefulness as a people and its natural endowments.
Wife of the Vice President, Her Excellency, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo commended the First lady for her steadfastness in the fight against all forms of child malnutrition in Nigeria.
The Hon. Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie E. Ehanire in his remarks noted that the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had already started working alongside the recommendations of the First Lady through the administration’s policy of “Eat what You Grow”,
He also called on the need for more awareness as he observed that malnutrition was not always a question of poverty but also of ignorance, sometimes parents do not know what to give their children to ensure they get the required nutritional content.