From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
The Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN), Northern Nigeria, Chairman Reverend Yakubu Pam, has identified the stingy attitude of parents and poor eating habits as one of the major causes of child malnutrition in Nigeria
He disclosed this at a meeting organised for traditional and religious leaders in Northern Nigeria to scale-up interventions on food and nutrition, held in Kaduna.
According to him, “bad eating habit and stinginess of parents contribute mainly to child malnutrition, especially in the Northern part of the country.
Pam, who cautioned against selfish attitudes exhibited by some parents, when it comes to children upkeep, restated the need to create awareness on the importance of eating well and imbibing the habit of spending on children.
He assured that churches would be instructed to preach on the importance of proper feeding of children and against stinginess.
The meeting was organised by the Ministry of Budget and National Planing in Kaduna, in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Jamaatul Nasir Islam (JNI), CAN and other stakeholders to combat malnutrition
In his address, the officer in charge of UNICEF in Kaduna, Idris Baba, said: “Nigeria is the second largest contributor to the death of children under the age of 5. In Nigeria, two out of five children do not get the nutrients they need for body and strength development and more than 13 million are affected in the country.”
Baba, however, pointed out that addressing malnutrition was important in order to efficiently achieve some part of the Sustainable Development Goals, especially “those relating to hunger, child and maternal health, security and education.”