It’s not surprising that malnutrition kills 2,300 Nigerian children every year but it’s saddening. You’ll see a mother having 6 children, then two of those children will be sharing meals that should have been eaten by one of them, not only that, the mother will cook the cheapest food so it can go round so how will malnutrition not be rampant?
A non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Kwara State, Civil Society Scaling-up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), has described malnutrition as a silent crisis that claims the lives of 2,300 Nigerian children daily.
Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune at a two-day advocacy meeting in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on Tuesday, the project officer of the agency, Mr Ubah Nnaemeka, said if nothing was done, the number of deaths would increase daily due to malnutrition.
The project officer, who stated that globally, out of a population of seven billion, about two billion suffer from micro -nutrient malnutrition, said that, “ Out of five billion adult worldwide, nearly two billion are overweight with one in every 12 persons, having type two diabetes,” he said.
Nnaemeka said that malnutrition has the ability of sapping intelligence from childhood and by extension, compromising the future of Nigerian leaders.
He also said that Nigeria currently accounted for the 11 per cent of the total global under five years death with 37 percent of children under the age of five stunted.
He added that 18% of the children were wasted and 29% were underweight.
The CS-SUNN project officer stated that only 17 per cent of mothers in Nigeria breastfeed their children according to the National Demographic and Health Survey of 2013.
Nnaemeka described malnutrition as over-nutrition, under nutrition and micro -nutrient deficiency.
Also speaking, Dr Uthman Mubashir, CS-SUNN (Kwara), the chairman, Local Working Group (LWG),said the NGO deals with nutrition of women and children in Nigeria.
He said malnutrition is a collective problem and needed a collective response from all.
Mubashir advocated a strong voice by decision makers to create the desired changes in the country as regards malnutrition.
What are we saying in essence Mamalettes? Don’t just feed your children so they can live, feed them nutritious foods so they can grow and be smart! Yes, the cost of feeding is expensive now but then organizing yourself and probably making a food time table will ensure that your children eat healthy and nutritious foods, and it doesn’t have to cost you more.