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Thursday, February 6, 2020

Nigerian govt must scale-up nutrition says CS-SUNN – NaijaAgroNet

The Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) has called on governments at all levels to scale-up nutrition provision of basic package of nutrition services, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Making this call in Lagos, Wednesday at the end of a one-day media roundtable on Micro-Nutrient Deficiency Control in collaboration with the Federal Ministries of Health and Agriculture, the Executive Secretary, CS-SUNN, Mrs. Beatrice Eluaka, said the government must scale-up nutrition across the Primary Health Care Centres in the country.

She also said that there is need for massive sensitization, education and awareness creation to provoke behavioural changes that will promote adequate Infant and Young Child Feeding practices in the country.

According to her, early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six (6) months of life and adequate complementary feeding are key behavioural traits required for scaling up nutrition.

In addition, she said, provision of routine services in Primary Health Care centers will promote distribution of Micronutrient powder, Iron/Folic Acid supplements and Zinc including Vitamin A supplementation for Pregnant Women and Children respectively.

“We call on state governments to scale-up not only the provision and distribution of these supplements to hard- to- reach areas and across health facilities during the MNCH week but also counselling to ensure compliance. We urge Nigerians to diversify their diet and to ensure adequate nutrition by consuming a wide range of foods, including vegetables, proteins and fruits to improve their nutritional status,” she said.

CS-SUNN, Mrs Eluaka said, had supported some State Committees on Food and Nutrition including the Lagos State Committee on Food and Nutrition to develop and cost their plans. Low funding for nutrition has been one of the major setbacks to implementation of nutrition interventions.

“We again urge states without budget lines for nutrition to create such and ensure releases with specific funds allotted to interventions around micronutrient powder, biofortification, iron folate supplementation and Vitamin A supplementation among others. We also underscore the need to strengthen multisectoral coordination across institutional structures documented in the National Policy for Food and Nutrition to address the causes of MNDC and the need for promotion of the production of bio-fortified crops among Nigerian farmers, to ensure availability for consumption among Nigerians.

“Some of these measures, if in place will reduce the incidence of micro nutrient deficiencies and contribute to improving nutrition outcomes in Nigeria,” she said.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Pix: Lagos State Coordinator Dr Mrs Modupe Akinyinka, Executive Sec. Mrs Beatrice Eluaka, SUN Nigeria Ambassador Mrs Lola Alonge and representative of Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), Mr Uruakpa John at the one day media roundtable in Lagos.

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