CIVIL Society Scaling-up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) says every state in Nigeria has a problem of childhood malnutrition and government must step up efforts to address the problem.
Beatrice Eluaka, Executive Secretary of CS-SUNN stated this at a media round-table in Abuja on the partnership for improving Nigeria nutrition systems.
Eluaka pointed out that there is no zone or state in the country that does not have cases of childhood malnutrition.
She said the level of malnutrition in Nigeria has gone beyond the acceptable rate, going by the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) classification of malnutrition prevalence.
Making a presentation on the malnutrition challenge in the country, Eluaka said it appeared that Nigeria has not been making progress in reducing malnutrition since the 1990 as the number of malnourished children has remained high.
She noted that the 2016/2017 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) shows that 43 percent of under-five children are stunted – the same rate it was in 1990.
Eluaka said the immediate causes of malnutrition are inadequate nutritional intake and diseases, adding that government must increase funding for nutrition to ensure that children grow up to realise their full potential.
In a message, Yinka Lawal, the secretary general of CS-SUNN, said the alarming rising trend in Nigeria’s malnutrition burden will continue to impede the nation’s economic development.
He said stunting is currently an indicator for measuring a country’s development.
Among other factors, Lawal blamed rising malnutrition to ineffective coordination of nutrition activities and inadequate funding.
He said the new project by CS-SUNN is targeted at strengthening the Nigeria nutrition systems to be more result-driven, effective, serviceable, efficient and transparent.