The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has identified insecurity as one of the major factors fueling malnutrition in Nigeria.
The global organization cautioned that the country’s development efforts would come to naught if decisive actions were not taken to tame the menace.”UNICEF Nutrition Specialist, Mrs. Ngozi Onuora, who raised the concern during a “Community of Practice” workshop, said with over 17 million malnutrition burden, Nigeria ranked the highest in Africa and faced the prospect of not meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.
She said: “As the pivot for health, nutrition should be the anchor of every action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.
“The governments, everybody, the private sector should be made aware of their various contributions to scale up nutrition interventions and address the issues of stunting, issues of wasting, issues of under weight and issues of anaemia that are besieging our children and mothers.
“While lamenting the high burden of malnutrition in the northern part of the country, Mrs. Onuora said: “I think that while their cases have always been for a long time, a lot of convergent actions have been in the north.
“But I am believing that part of the reasons it is still on a high range is because of high rate of insecurity, especially in the North East, because even farm products are being affected by insecurity.
“Our colleagues even in Kano and Kaduna states are doing dietary diversity activities. But what partners are doing can never be compared to what the government can do for its own people. So we need government attention.
“We need to get them put it in their priority list of plan. Their medium and long term strategic plans. And multisectoral plans on nutrition health development system structures and all that.
“The greatest is the appropriate integration of nutrition into the health systems, primary healthcare interventions and then the basic healthcare provision funds in all the states.
“If we are able to do this, we will be doing a lot to curb malnutrition at least in line with the global targets of reducing malnutrition.”