Written by Ijeoma UKAZU

CS-SUNN urges Ambode on improved nutrition funding

In a bid to tackling malnutrition in the country, the Civil Society Scaling -Up Nutrition in Nigeria, CS-SUNN, a not- for- profit organisation has called on Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos State to improve on the nutrition policy as well as funding of the state.

Addressing health journalists in Lagos on the Partnership for Improving Nigeria Nutrition Systems, PINNS, project, the Executive Secretary of CS-SUNN, Mrs Beatrice Eluaka, said there was need for increase in nutrition funding in Lagos State as the project is targeted at reducing malnutrition in women and children.

She said the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, (MICS) 2017, a survey carried by National Bureau of Statistics with support from UNICEF shows that, Lagos State, has stunting rate of 11.4 percent, wasting at 11.4 percent and underweight at 14.5 percent.

“The MICS survey at National level puts stunting rate at 43.6 percent as against 32.9 percent in 2015, wasting in 2017 at 10.8 percent as against 7.2 percent in 2015 and underweight at 31.5 percent in 2017 as against 19.4 percent in 2015,"Eluaka explained.

According to her, the negative results from the survey indicates an alarming rising trend in Nigeria's malnutrition burden which will continue to further impede the nation's economic development if not checked, adding that globally, stunting is currently an indicator for measuring a country's development.

She, however, applauded the Lagos state government for extending maternity leave for female civil servants to six months and introducing a 10-day paternity leave for fathers as it is a step in the right direction in promoting exclusive breastfeeding.

She charged other state governments to emulate Lagos as the extended maternity leave would encourage the practice of exclusive breastfeeding especially among working mothers thereby boosting Nigeria's EBF rate and reducing malnutrition in the country.

The project manager for CS-SUNN, Mr Sunday Okoronkwo, while speaking noted that Nigeria needs to invest and scale up nutrition in the country to combat malnutrition.

“The North east bears the highest burden of malnutrition and part of the reason is the insurgency in that area but that is not to say that we don't have malnutrition cases in other states,” he observed.

 

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