Insurgency Worsens Child Malnutrition Situation In North East – Expert

Insurgency Worsens Child Malnutrition Situation In North East – Expert

 

A nutrition expert, Dr Dr Davis Bamidele Omotola has lamented that the insurgency in the North Eastern part of Nigeria has worsened the situation of malnourished children in the region to severe acute malnutrition.

 He said this at a media dialogue attended by journalists drawn from different parts of the country held in Yola, Adamawa state.

He gave the overview of the situation of malnutrition in the North East in which he revealed mind bulging figures of malnourished children in the region.

Dr Omotola said as a result of malnutrition, 25 million children under age five in Nigeria are wasting and that 10 million children in the country are stunting, saying that the greater part of this figure is from the North East.

He lamented that the insurgency in the North East as a result of the Boko Haram crisis further worsened the problem of malnutrition in the region as people could no longer go to their farms which contributed to food scarcity and destroyed means of livelihood of many people.

Dr Omotola warned that children with severe form of acute malnutrition has nine fold risk of death compare to well nourished children.

He said one in five children with severe acute malnutrition cases would die if treatment is not provided at right time.

The Media Dialogue was organised by Child Rights Information Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The UNICEF Communication Specialist, Dr Geoffrey Njoku said objective of the media dialogue was to present fact and figure to expose the current situation of malnutrition to draw attention to it so that necessary steps would be taken to address the problem.

Dr Njoku charged the participants to explore various media tools to take messages on malnutrition situation to the policy makers so as to prompt them to come up with policies that would bring positive change.

Also, a UNICEF Nutrition Officer, Dr Martins Jackson highlighted the efforts of UNICEF in collaboration with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (UK-DFID) and other partners in addressing and curtailing the scourge of malnutrition in the North East.

Earlier in his remarks, the Deputy Director/Head of Child Rights Information Bureau at the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Abuja, Olumide Osanyinpeju commended UNICEF for its efforts aimed at ensuring bright future for children in Nigeria, particularly in addressing Malnutrition.

Osanyinpeju who spoke on behalf of the Federal Government said the efforts of UNICEF in Nigeria is laudable.

His words, “Let me first of all commend UNICEF for their unyielding partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria, and for their contributions towards all activities being carried out to uphold the rights of Nigerian children.

“I wish to specifically note the constant support of the Media and External Relations Section, and the consistent efforts at ensuring that the wellbeing of our children is promoted through the various interventions of the Section, one of which is continuous dialogues with members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm.”

Speaking further, Osanyinpeju also commended the UKAid’s Department for International Department (DFID) and the Federal Ministry of Health and other line Partners for their collaboration in addressing Malnutrition in the North East.

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