By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The United Nations Children Funds ( UNICEF), has revealed that Nigeria needs 4.4 billion naira to procure Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) in the northeastern states of; Yobe Adamawa and Borno.
Speaking yesterday at a 2-day media dialogue on Child Malnutrition organized by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and supported by DFID in Borno, the Nutrition Specialist of UNICEF, Aminu Usman said there is the urgent need for government at all level to mobilize the resources so as to rescue children from untimely death.
He estimated that there will be 258,950 boys and girls suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in those states by 2020.
Olumide Osanyinpeju, Deputy director and head, child rights information bureau, federal ministry of Information and culture in his remark noted that a large number of Nigerian children are still at risk of deprivations of basic social amenities of which nutrition is inclusive especially in the Northern rural and hard-to-reach communities.
He said “Nigeria’s future depends on producing children who are well prepared to take their place in tomorrow’s society. However, most unfortunately, majority of these children are also living in conflict, and communities under emergencies, and it has been difficult taking indeed all basic amenities to them”.
“This, therefore, calls to mind the need for us to specifically address malnutrition in children because it directly impacts on their survival and development. There is need for investing in child malnutrition for the future, raising awareness and understanding on the problem of malnutrition in Nigeria and resource allocation for food and nutrition security at all levels”.
It is imperative to combat Malnutrition, because it can cause death in young children, particularly those under five years of age. There should be concerted effort to fight malnutrition out in totality to ensure the attainment of desired results.
Osanyinpeju further said that ensuring improved nutrition is critical to creating improved national and human development, adding that nutrition is one of the ways through which sustainable development goals can be achieved.