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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Buhari, 36 governors: ‘Devote 5% of security votes on child malnutrition’

The President, Muhammadu Buhari and all the 36 State Governors have been enjoined to devote, at least, five per cent of their security votes to the fight against child malnutrition in Nigeria, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Participants at the a two-day Media Dialogue on Child Malnutrition organized by UNICEF in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture for media practitioners, nutritionists and other stakeholders in Nigeria, in Owerri, Imo State made this call.

For participants, there could be no greater threat to the country than the one posed by severe child malnutrition which puts the lives of over 2.5 million innocent children on the line annually.

They also noted that government at all levels should create a specific budget line for Nutrition and ensure prompt release of funds.

Participants equally urged the government to ensure the availability of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTFs) in every state for urgent interventions in cases of emergency.
In addition, they advocated for government to create enabling environment for local production of RUTFs to minimize cost.

According to participants, with more attention given to the prevention of malnutrition to avoid its irreversible consequences such as stunted growth and poor brain development, it is important to important to see malnutrition as part of security for the larger society through provision of at least 5 per cent withdrawn from the supposed ‘security votes’ which comes in various colour across the country.

To this end, participants pointed out that consumption of bio-fortified foods should be encouraged especially among young mothers and children.

While producers of flour, salt, vegetable oil and sugar should be closely monitored by the various regulatory agencies to ensure they are fortified with vitamin A and iodine.

The participants, further called on corporate bodies and individuals should also endeavour to devote part of their earnings to support the global efforts towards eradication of child malnutrition.

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