The Civil Society Scaling–Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), on Saturday, disclosed that 37 children out of every 100 children in Nasarawa State were malnourished, describing the burden of malnutrition in the state as “bigger than the interventions.”
Mrs. Mercy Asso, CS-SUNN Coordinator in the state, stated this in Lafia, when she led a team on a courtesy visit to some of the nutrition champions in the state.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ‘Nutrition champions’ are critical stakeholders identified by CS-SUNN, to enhance its advocacy on tackling malnutrition.
According to Asso, the visit was to reawaken the nutrition champions to their responsibilities and to redouble their efforts in the fight against malnutrition, noting that there was still a huge malnutrition burden in the state.
She reminded the champions of the enormous task ahead, urging them to use their positions and voices to influence and ensure policies and decisions were in favour of nutrition issues in the state.
“In every 100 children you see in the street, 37 of them are malnourished, and this is not good, so we want the nutrition champions to take this task beyond where it is now to the point where your influence can be felt.
“The visit is to see how you can deploy your potentials in every forum you find yourself, to influence decisions on nutrition issues, such as improved budget for nutrition and timely release of funds budgeted for nutrition.
“One of the factors identified is that the burden of malnutrition in the state is bigger than the interventions we are receiving, if you are going to make any meaningful progress, the degree of interventions have to measure up,” she said.
While commending the state government, individuals and other stakeholders, Asso said what was given out was not sufficient to create any meaningful impact because the burden of malnutrition was high in the state.
Responding, Mrs Hadiza Sabo, State Chairperson, Market Women Association and a nutrition champion, promised to use her position as a leader of market women, to influence policy decisions in favour of nutrition issues in the state.
Similarly, Mr Idris Ojoko, Youth Council Chairman, Nasarawa State, and a nutrition champion, admitted that he had not done much in the past, but promised to recover the lost ground in promoting nutrition in the state.
Ojoko assured the team that he would meet with other nutrition champions, to brainstorm on the way forward and how to use their positions to influence decisions on nutrition issues in the state. (NAN)