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Showing posts with label Nutrition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nutrition. Show all posts

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Lagos LGAs to partner CS-SUNN on nutrition advocacy - NaijaAgroNet

The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr. Taiwo Olufemi Salam, has assured the readiness of his office to partner with the Civil Society-Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) at local levels of governance, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Dr Salam gave this assurance in his remarks during a courtesy advocacy visit by the leadership of CS-SUNN led by the Executive Secretary, Mrs. Beatrice Eluaka, National Steering Committee Chair on Advocacy, Mrs Aji Robinson, and Coordinator, Lagos CS-SUNN, Dr Modupe Akinyinka.

He pledged to ensure active participation of local government chairmen across the state during a proposed sensitization nutrition workshop.

As said by him, this is crucial to help in championing and deseminating correct nutrition information down to the grassroot governance.

He also advised that CS-SUNN make pamphlets available as part of the programming to deepen the understanding of participants, especially those who make laws at the local levels.

Although, Salam acknowledged that often requisite resources are not readily available and often population accuracy become an issue.

He urged families to make certain they take good care of their families in alignment with their economic status.

Men, he advised must control their third legs and manage what they can afford by ensuring control of children.

“We must start with education at the grassroots,” he declared.

Earlier in her address, leader of the delegation, Mrs. Eluaka noted that CS-SUNN is part of the six major networks actively involved in nutrition emancipation globally under the Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSP).

She explained that these include the government, United Nations (UN) agencies, Civil Society Organisations, Businesses, Donors and Academia Networks respectively.

In Nigeria, she traced the root to the November 14, 2011, when the Federal Government of Nigeria joined the global Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN Movement) by then Minister of Health, Dr Onyebuchi Chukwu; an indication that Nigeria was ready to join forces in addressing malnutrition in the country.

At the states, she noted that there are Committees on Food and Nutrition, just as she called for cash-backing of budget lines on nutrition and related subjects.

Lagos, she said, has a high malnutrition rate of 17.2 per cent, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In addition, Mrs. Eluaka pointed out that WHO further revealed that Lagos has high stunting rate of 6 per cent, whereas stunting above 5 per cent has been classified as high by this world health body.

Eluka, equally sought for collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs towards ensuring Lagos State Executive Council endorse relevant policies to scale up nutrition in the state.

Other members of the CS-SUNN on ground for the advocacy visit included, Mrs. Ebere Okey-Onyema, Secretary, Lagos CS-SUNN, Mrs. Ewa Ekpeyong, Assistant Secretary, Lagos Chapter, Remmy Nweke, Editor at NaijaAgroNet and Natioanl Coordinator, Media Centre Against child Malnutriton (MeCAM), Director of Outreach & Research, MeCAM, Mrs Julie Ekong, Member-CS-SUNN, Sam Akinyolode of Revive Agriculture Africa, to name a few.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

CS-SUNN commends Lagos over nutrition budget lines in 9 MDAs - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:
The Civil Society Scaling-up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) has commended the Lagos State government for creating nine budget lines for nutrition across its Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), reports NaijaAgroNet.

Giving this commendation on behalf of CS-SUNN, its Executive Secretary, Mrs. Beatrice Eluaka during a courtesy visit to the Lagos State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Samuel Egube, on Tuesday at the State Secretariat, Alausa-Ikeja.

In addition she said that Lagos has what it takes to develop multi-sectoral policies that will stimulate nutrition in the state.

She also noted that Lagos was the first to sign the six months maternity leave into law, and congratulated ‘Eko’ for this fit.

The Executive Secretary further called for more positive actions in promotion of nutrition especially in children in Lagos. Stressing that the effect of malnutrition and stunting in the state, usually poses negative economic indexes should be addressed.

CS-SUNN also requested for approval of the state specific nutrition policy among other related plans by the State Executive Council (SEC).

In his response, the Commissioner, Mr. Egube, noted that nutrition problem is everybody’s problem.

“Everybody must come together. There is need to pull volunteers that will act together to deliver a society where basic nutrition is no longer a problem," he said.

NaijaAgroNet recollects that CS-SUNN launched in 2014, pursues her lofty goal by engaging government and non-state actors to raise awareness, sustain commitment and actions to effectively tackle under-nutrition in Nigeria.

The CS-SUNN delegation led by Executive Secretary, Mrs. Eluaka included the Sub-Committee Chairman on Research, Aji Rachael Robinson, Programme Manager, Mr. Sunday Okoronkwo, Lagos State CS-SUNN Coordinator, Dr (Mrs) Modupe Akinyinka and Secretary, Mrs Ebere Okey-Onyema, National Coordinator, Media Centre Against Child Malnutrition (MeCAM), Mr. Remmy Nweke, and in attendance of the Lagos State Director in the Ministry, Mrs. Otuyalo and State Nutrition Officer (SNO) Mrs Olubunmi Braheem.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Friday, November 15, 2019

CS-SUNN decorates Lagos first lady as 'Nutrition Champion' - NaijaAgroNet

The Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) has decorated the Lagos First Lady and Wife of Executive Governor of the State, Dr. Mrs. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu with recognition as the state’s ‘Nutrition Champion,’ reports NaijaAgroNet.

Leading the CS-SUNN’s delegate on the advocacy visit, the Executive Secretary, Mrs. Beatrice Eluaka said the recognition is evidenced on the Lagos First Lady’s firm commitment to the wellbeing of women and children, displayed in several capacities, even as a medical practitioner.

Eluaka urged Mrs. Sanwo-Olu to support the full implementation of the State Multi-sectoral Plan of Action for Nutrition (2019-2023) designed to reduce malnutrition.

According to her, the plan covers six core areas namely, “Food and Nutrition Security, Enhancing Caregiving Capacity, Enhancing the Provision of Quality Health Services, Improving Capacity to Address Food and Nutrition Insecurity, Raising Awareness and Understanding of the Problem of Malnutrition in Nigeria and Resource Allocation for Food and Nutrition Security at all levels.”

The CS-SUNN Executive Secretary tasked Mrs Sanwo-Olu to push for improved supply and demand for Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition interventions/services in the state by facilitating the approval and funding of the Lagos State Multi-sectoral Plan of Action for Nutrition (2019 -2023) by the State Executive Council. She also urged the Lagos First Lady to contribute towards ensuring adequate budgetary allocation and timely release of funds for maternal nutrition and Infant & Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices and interventions, at the state and local government levels.

In her response, the Lagos First Lady, Dr. Mrs. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu commended CS-SUNN for making lots of progress in ensuring that the state government develops her state-specific plan and pledged her support for its funding and implementation. “There will be some cash-backings. I will tell the Governor about this plan to be approved as it will help the nutritional status of the people because the governor is concerned. There are also other people in the Council who are interested in the nutritional status of the people especially women even during pregnancy. They will also play a role,” she said.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Thursday, February 7, 2019

African leaders for Nutrition to launch accountability scorecard - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:
The African leaders will gather at a side event of the 32nd African Union Summit, to launch the African Leaders for Nutrition (ALN), the continental nutrition accountability scorecard, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The launch slated for Skylight Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, would hold on Monday, February 11, 2019.

NaijaAgroNet reports that the scorecare is to raise awareness and reinforce commitments by African governments to end malnutrition and promote healthy children on the continent.

Some of the confirmed the African Union high calibre members including His Majesty King Letsie III of the Kingdom of Lesotho, the African Development Bank, the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other partners, will launch the African Leaders For Nutrition (ALN) Continental Nutrition Accountability Scorecard.

The event, under the theme “A Call for Better Advocacy and Accountability for Nutrition Investments,” will be chaired by, His Majesty King Letsie III and African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina.

The Continental Nutrition Accountability Scorecard is the latest tool produced by ALN to raise awareness and reinforce commitments by African governments to end malnutrition and promote healthy children.

This data-based advocacy tool gives an overview of how African leaders are doing on their delivery of the main nutrition indicators. It is expected that the scorecard will increasingly be used to track Africa’s effort to halt malnutrition and its effects.

Isaac Oyimah/Editor

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Monday, December 24, 2018

UN sharpens focus on food safety, nutrition with observance day - NaijaAgroNet

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has applauded the United Nations decision by the United Nations to create two new international days and one entire year devoted to central issues in global food security and nutrition, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The UN General Assembly, NaijaAgroNet gathered, had on December 20, approved three new resolutions creating three awareness-raising initiatives, focused on plant health, food safety and pulses.

FAO and the International Plant Protection Convention Secretariat, based at FAO, welcomed the decision to proclaim 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health. With up to 40 percent of global food crops lost annually due to plant pests, the importance of fostering healthy plants is critical for public opinion and policy makers. In economic terms alone, plant diseases cost the global economy around $220 billion annually and invasive insects around $70 billion.

"The International Year of Plant Health is a key initiative to highlight the importance of plant health to enhance food security, protect the environment and biodiversity, and boost economic development," FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo said.

Meanwhile, from now on, 10 February will mark World Pulses Day, keeping alive the positive momentum surrounding these healthy, nutritious, protein-rich, nitrogen-fixing legumes after FAO's successful 2016 International Year of Pulses Campaign. Growing pulses contributes to sustainable crop production.

And 7 June will be World Food Safety Day, paying tribute to an increasingly important issue in today's highly-interconnected food systems. FAO notes with satisfaction that the UN resolution expressly recognized that "there is no food security without food safety".

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Monday, November 19, 2018

One man's meal, 163 children’s death per month - NaijaAgroNet

Arrival of every child in a family is always joyful. REMMY NWEKE in this report postulates that one man’s meal that costs N3.5m of tax-payers money, could actually save 163 children from death monthly, if nation’s resources are prioritized.

Malnutrition @FCT:

Still reminiscing on what one saw at the recent site visit to Kwalu Primary Health Care (PHC) Centre within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, with a good number of malnourished children not less than 50 in that centre and considering that, this PHC may not be very far away from where the Federal Government is feeding one man monthly with the sum of N3.5 million, while over 2000 children under 5 die daily as a result of malnutrition, becomes unthinkable.

Frankly, travelling from Lagos to FCT, Abuja, about 11 hours 42 minutes by road and some 756.8 kilometres (km) via Sagamu-Benin Expressway, one would simply not envisage that there are some malnourished children near the seat of power in the most populous black nation, Nigeria.

The N3.5m gab and CMAM:

Recall that the Federal Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, a fortnight ago revealed to the Nigerian media that the whooping sum of N3.5m is used monthly to feed the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

So, penultimate Wednesday, November 7, precisely, the Information Minister since inception of the All Progressive Congress (APC)-led Federal Government, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, told media including leading Internet TV, OakTv in a viral video that the government was spending N3.5 million monthly to feed Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, the Shi’ia sect leader who has been in detention since December 2015. The paradox in the above is the revelation of using N3.5m to feed a one-man detainee and just nearby community of Kwali there are some 50 malnourished children and some 2,000 die nationwide daily.

According to the 2017 Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) sighted by NaijaAgroNet, experts at the UNICEF in collaboration with the Federal Government alluded that it would cost N21,350 only about $61 to cure a child suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in the non-emergency states of the country. On the other hand, it will cost N36,750 only, about $105, to cure a child suffering from SAM in emergency states like the North East (NE) geopolitical zone of Nigeria, consisting of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe.

What is SAM?

Experts at National Institutes of Health defined Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) as extremely low weight-for-height, and estimated to affect between 500,000 and 1,000,000 million children under age five in Nigeria every year, thus contributing to as many as 100,000 deaths per year. They also underlined the causes of malnutrition in Nigeria to include poverty, inadequate food production, inadequate food intake, ignorance and uneven distribution of food, poor food preservation techniques, improper preparation of foods, food restrictions and taboos, and poor sanitation.

Arithmetically, what this entails, according to NaijaAgroNet findings is that at the non-emergency states, N3.5m would be able to feed and obviously cure some 163.93 children monthly at the rate of N21,350, which amounts to N3,499,905.5. And for children suffering from SAM in the six aforementioned emergency states, at least 95.23 children will be saved at the cost of N36,750 with a round up figure of N3,499,702.5 every month. Per-adventure N3.5m is shared among 30 days on average of a month, will indicate N116,666 is spent daily. This figure when matched with N21,350 will save about 5.4 children on daily average.

This figure when juxtaposed with the number of months since Malam Ibrahim El-Zakzaky was arrested and detained by the state in December 2015, following initial clampdown on his members by soldiers despite court ruling to release him; indicates that he has spent 34 months in detention till October 30. When 34 months is multiplied by N3.5m leaves NaijaAgroNet correspondent with N119,000,000 (One Hundred and Nineteen Million Naira).

How to save 3,328 SAM children in North East:

Conversely, dividing N119,000,000 with the cost of N36,750 anticipated to save children suffering from Severe Acute Malnourished (SAM), Nigeria should have saved some 3,238 children in the six emergency states of North East, while the same amount could have saved some 5,573 in some 30 states including FCT that are categories as non-emergency states within the period under review of 34 months.

A communiqué issued from a recent 3-day media training cum field visit from October 29th to November 1st, 2018 in Abuja on the theme “The Journalists’ Role in Ensuring Transparency and Accountability in Allocation and Use of Health/Nutrition Funds in Nigeria” hosted by Civil Society Scaling up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) under the Partnership for Improving Nigeria Nutrition Systems (PINNS) project, decried the daily 145 maternal death as a result of malnutrition, recognising nutrition as multi sectoral issue admonishing all hands to be on deck so as to tackle the menace.

At the training, Mr. Dare Oguntade took on “The Nigerian Malnutrition Situation with Focus on PINNS project”; Communications Officer at CSSUNN, Lilian Ajah-mong, highlighted challenges in nutrition reporting; Project Manager at CSSUNN, Mr. Sunday Okoronkwo harped on ‘Nutrition Funding’ and Akin Jimoh of DevCom, facilitated ‘Communicating Nutrition Stories for Change.’

The communique endorsed by Mr. Salihu Mohammed Alkali and Mrs Priscilla Dennis on behalf of participants, pointed out that the first 1000 days of life from the time of conception to a child’s second birth day is not prioritized yet, adding that governments at all levels, have not been making adequate budgetary allocation, approval, timely release and cash backing.

Wake-up for stakeholders:

They also lamented that where budgets are allocated and released, implementation tend to focus more on the curative measures than preventive, citing an instance that a malnourished child when immunized does not absorb or utilize the immunization. Noting though there is low reportage of nutrition-related issues in Nigeria, experts reportedly attributed 53 per cent of deaths from child killer diseases as directly related to malnutrition.

This, they said, underscored the fact that most mothers at the Primary Health Care (PHC) centres, especially at Kwali, were not practicing Exclusive Breast Feeding (EBF), decrying lack of men involvement and support towards EBF.

They agreed that stakeholders including but not limited to the government, media, CSOs, care givers, donor agencies need to place emphasis on preventive than curative measures, stressing that government and policymakers, for instance, should be held accountable for their commitments on issues bordering on nutrition especially for children and mothers of child-bearing age, while media practitioners were urged to be consistent in their reportage on nutrition and holding government accountable by getting enough information aimed at addressing nutrition issues, in order to place nutrition at the front burner and influence policy decisions thereof for improved nutrition interventions.

Mainstreaming nutrition:

Advocacy for policies to mainstream nutrition into agriculture as well as sensitizing women on the need to exclusively breastfeed their children in the first six (6) months of life, without addition of water was brought to fore, even as mothers were encouraged to continue to breastfeed their children for two years in addition to adequate complementary feeding.

Participants, according to the Mr. Alkali and Mrs. Dennis were encouraged to explore key components of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) so as to bring to the fore requisite solutions to the plights of women, children and other vulnerable groups within the Nigerian society. They insisted that government should scale up and sustain existing interventions on nutrition, while media should intensify campaign towards behavioral change, especially for men to support EBF for a better family life eventually.

Purdah:

Purdah, according to online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, is the practice in certain Muslim and Hindu societies of screening women from men or strangers, especially by means of a curtain and often described as “a state of seclusion or secrecy.”

Hannatu Musa, a mother, says Purdah has not been helpful as they women are kept at home and rely heavily on what their husbands bring home which may not necessarily be nutritional mix and varies at various stages of growth, both for mother and child.

Also, a mother of 10-month girl twins, 20-year-old Habibat Abubakar, told NaijaAgroNet that though married to a driver, she treks from Kwaku PHC before they were referred to Kwali, which is a distance and said she was encouraged to visit the hospital by her community leaders. Her twins, she said were underweight at birth and before they were brought to PHC Kwali. As said by her, she breastfeeds her twins, but grandmother gives water afterwards, within the first 1000 days of life.

From Kwaku to Kwali, she said, is about 1:30 minutes trek to receive medicare, but added that she has been coming to PHC weekly and every medicare is free except when she has to take transport, confirming she attended antenatal too.

For Marawiya Isiaka, a mother of 2-year old baby who did not know her age, but could be below 25, told NaijaAgroNet, that her husband cares less about them and she has been coming to PHC Kwali without requisite attention for over a week. This was also brought to the attention of the chief nutritionist supervising the Kwali PHC and she immediately received medicare. The supervisor argued that her case like any other one beyond the PHC are referred to the General Hospital, but in the case of Mrs Isiaka before the visit could end, she was seen attended to with a smile.

Wrap-up:

As the election year approaches, its crucial for stakeholders to ensure that nutrition becomes a political agenda, to include the prioritization of health related issues based on importance of food security and nutritional health; one highlight also will be ensuring that government votes at least 50 per cent of what they spend on managing crisis like the one associated to the Malam Ibrahim El-Zakzaky’s detention as revealed, some 3,238 children in the emergency states of North East, and some 5,573 in some 30 states including FCT from non-emergency states should have been saved from death in 34 months, with an average vote of N3.5 monthly.

The underlined causes of malnutrition in Nigeria comprising poverty, inadequate food production, inadequate food intake, ignorance and uneven distribution of food, poor food preservation techniques, improper preparation of foods, food restrictions and taboos, and poor sanitation, cannot be wished away.

Still imagine a Nigerian society, if 163 children could be saved from Severe Acute Malnutrition per month in non-emergency states, at the cost of N21,350 per child per month and at least 95.23 children at the cost of N36,750 from emergency states saved respectively, of course, the story will change including reduction drastically in the numbers of children at risk of death daily.

And by reversing this trend of one man's meal costing Nigeria 163 children’s death per month, we should have been positioned to see the importance of quality of life in our children improve significantly, having in mind what Caryn Elaine Johnson alias Whoopi Goldberg, a black literary icon and actress said, “... when our children are happy, then we are better as human beings.”

The time to start thinking in that direction is now.

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Pix: Lai Mohammed flanked by two children's pictures from PHC Kwali, FCT.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Improve nutrition funding in Nigeria says CS-SUNN - NaijaAgroNet

The Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS—SUNN), has urged the three tiers of government in the country to make certain adequate budgetary allocations on nutrition activities, reports NaijaAgroNet.

A communiqué issued at end of a 3-day workshop , the Civil Society Organisation (CSO) called on government to ensure adequate and prompt release of the nutrition budgets in order to facilitate necessary provisions for the treatment of drugs for the handling of malnutrition issues ravaging children under 5 years old.

The workshop with the theme; "the journalists' role in ensuring transparency and accountability in allocation and use of health/ nutrition funds in Nigeria", was aimed at building the capacity of media practitioners in reporting issues of nutrition

Endorsed by Salihu Mohammed Alkali and Priscilla Dennis, chairman and secretary of the Communique Committee, respectively, described as unacceptable, the record of over 2000 of children under 5 dying daily as a result of cases of malnutrition.

Participants also decried the daily 145 maternal death as a result of malnutrition, recognising nutrition as multi sectoral issue admonishing all hands on deck to be able to tackle the menace.

Participants noted that preventing malnutrition is better and more cost effective than curing the problem, regretting that any malnourished child will be resistant to immunisation.

They further urged media to promptly and adequately report malnutrition cases in order to effectively tackle the problem.

The workshop was organised by CS-- SUNN in collaboration with Partnership for Improving Nigeria Nutrition Systems, PINNS.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Educating Nigerians on nutrition requires media stepping up - NaijaAgroNet


Educating Nigerians is one of the cardinal points for the media in the country, especially on nutrition-related issues, which requires media practitioners to step up their games, says the Communications Officer at the Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), Mrs. Lilian Aja-mong, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Speaking at a 3-day media workshop on reporting nutrition which opened in Abuja, Monday, she noted the urgent need to step up media engagement in and around reporting nutrition and urged for redoubling of efforts.

She told participants at the workshop with the theme: Role in Ensuring Transparency and Accountability in Allocation and Use of Health Nutrition Funds in Nigeria, it’s time to intensify efforts in educating Nigerians on the dangers of malnutrition in the country so that requisite actions can be taken for a better society, so as to limit the associated menace.

He commended participants and urged them to make good of the workshop by learning as much as possible to increase their passion on curtailing malnutrition in Nigeria using the power of the media, that is result driven, efficient, serviceable, effective and transparency.

Welcoming participants, CS-SUNN Project Manager, Mr. Sunday Okoronkwo, pointed out that part of the effort of the organization has been to train journalist on how to write a comprehensive report on malnutrition aimed at achieving the desired goals.

NaijaAgroNet also gathered that part of the objectives of the workshop is to build the capacity of media to write stories for transparency and accountability in allocation and use of health cum nutrition funds in focal states and country at large.

In addition, the work tends to engender passion and commitment to reporting health and nutrition issues through site visits for first-hand experience of challenges in the sector, as well as disseminate and ability to correctly and accurately interpret the 2014-2018 health and nutrition budget analysis for media audience, whereas increasing salience of nutrition and making it a front burner on agenda of government.

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Friday, August 31, 2018

PINNS designed to reset Nigeria’s nutrition system - NaijaAgroNet

The Partnership for Improving Nigeria Nutrition Systems (PINNS) has been described as a design to reset the nation’s nutrition system for good, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Executive Secretary, Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), Mrs. Beatrice Eluaka, gave this insight in Lagos at the media engagement on PINNS and related issues.

She said, PINNS, is a product of consultations between a donor/CS-SUNN targeted at strengthening the Nigeria nutrition systems to be more Result-driven, Effective, Serviceable, Efficient and Transparent (RESET) in delivering on its mandate.

“It is also aimed at holding government accountable on commitments made to allocate, release and use transparently funds for implementation of high impact Nutrition interventions in Nigeria through evidence-based advocacy,” Eluaka said.

This project, she continued, will also contribute to a reduction in malnutrition particularly among women and children in Nigeria.

She emphasized the fact that with focus on strengthening governance, policy implementation, effective coordination, financing, building the capacity of state actors, generation and effective communication of evidence as promoting accountability, the nutrition story would have retuned.


Eluka pointed out that this media engagement, on PINNS issues will be based on multisector plan of action, research findings, progress and call to action.

NaijaAgroNet also reports that during the event, CS-SUNN project officer, Mary Ajakaye, while an overview of the INNS project, payers and asks were presented by the Communications Officer, Mrs. Lilian Ajah-mong accompanied by the Project Manager at CS-SUNN, Mr. Sunday Okoronkwo.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Nutrition: CS-SUNN worried over waste rate in Lagos, calls for more actions - NaijaAgroNet

The Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) has expressed worry over the rate of malnutrition waste in Lagos State, just as the group called for more actions, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Speaking through its Executive Secretary, Mrs Beatrice Eluaka, Wednesday in Lagos during the unveiling of Partnership for Improving Nigeria Nutrition System (PINNS) which includes research findings, progress and call to action, CS-SUNN expressed concern over the malnutrition waste rate of Lagos, which means affected children may die.

Moderate malnutrition (MM) according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) defined as a weight-for-age between -3 and -2 z-scores below the median of the WHO child growth standards. This can be due to a low weight-for-height (wasting) or a low height-for-age (stunting) or to a combination of both.

As said by Mrs. Eluaka, the 2017 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) for Lagos had put the stunting rate at 11.4 per cent, waiting rate also at 11.4 per cent and underweight at 14.5 per cent.

She revealed that the 2014 National Nutrition and Health Survey (NNHS) had put Exclusive Breastfeeding (EBF) rate in Nigeria at 25 per cent.

Also, she said, the 2017 MICS putted stunting rate at 43.6 per cent as against 32.9 per cent in 2015, wasting in 2017 at 10.8 per cent as against 7.2 per cent in 2015 and Underweight at 31.5 per cent in 2017 as against 19.4 per cent in 2015.

So, the rising trend calls for concern unless we take deliberate steps to checkmate the cause, such as EBF.

CS-SUNN, she said, equally commended Lagos State for leading on six months maternity leave for mothers and urged other states to take a queue from the centre of excellence.

“Despite these negative indices, we however must not fail to commend the Lagos State government for extending maternity leave for female civil servants to 6 months and introducing a 10-day paternity leave for fathers,” she noted.

Eluka pointed out that EBF ensures optimal physical growth and brain development of children, engenders them to thrive well and live up to their full potentials at adulthood.

“It also prevents malnutrition” the Executive Secretary said and called for more action to improve EBF.

“We are therefore calling on other state governments in Nigeria to emulate the Lagos State Government as this will contribute to encouraging the practice of Exclusive Breastfeeding especially among working mothers thereby boosting Nigeria’s EBF rate and contributing to a reduction in malnutrition in the country,” she said.

Remmy Nweke/GEE

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

NEPAD names Yvonne Chaka Chaka nutrition goodwill ambassador - NaijaAgroNet

The Princess of Africa, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, internationally-renowned singer and humanitarian has been appointed as the NEPAD Agency’s Goodwill Ambassador for TB and nutrition, reports NaijaAgroNet.

“I am pleased to confirm your appointment as NEPAD Agency Goodwill Ambassador with effect from 1 August 2018. Your commitment to supporting the NEPAD Agency through advocacy and communicating to a broad public will undoubtedly raise the profile of our continental projects,” Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, NEPAD Agency’s CEO stated in his message to Yvonne Chaka Chaka.

Considered a role model throughout the African continent, Yvonne has demonstrated compassion for others throughout her career. She has promoted literacy, women and children’s rights, and is also a champion in the fight against malaria.

Yvonne established the Princess of Africa Foundation in 2006 to complement her humanitarian work. Through this non-profit organisation, she has continued to advocate for various causes and mobilise resources towards projects for people in need.

As the implementing body of the African Union, the NEPAD Agency’s strategic impact areas are industrialisation and wealth-creation; shared prosperity and transformed livelihoods; human capital development and transformed institutions; and environmental sustainability. Given Yvonne’s strong commitment to the values and principles of the NEPAD Agency, she will be an excellent and eloquent advocate of the continent’s development agenda.


As Goodwill Ambassador for the NEPAD Agency, Yvonne Chaka Chaka’s public policy advocacy focus will especially be the promotion of food security and good nutrition as key response components in the fight against TB, as well as public awareness on the challenges and solutions to ending TB in Africa.

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Monday, August 13, 2018

FARA, NEPAD in high level joint advocacy for nutrition in Africa - NaijaAgroNet

As part of efforts to promote Food and Nutrition Security for Sustainable Agriculture on the continent, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), have joined forces in a high level advocacy for nutrition in Africa, reports NaijaAgroNet.

They jointly organised a one-day high level advocacy event during the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) in in Cairo, Egypt, which saw notice on increased efforts and support from governments and stakeholders to improve nutrition and food systems are still needed.

The FARA Executive Director, Dr Abdulrazak Ibrahim noted that African governments and stakeholders have over the years been implementing several strategic interventions, among which include food fortification, dietary diversification, vitamin and mineral supplementation, public health interventions such as deworming and of late, biofortification.

He also said embracing food-based approaches should encompass biofortification in national and regional agriculture and nutrition policies, strategies, programmes and investment plans,’ was the theme of this event.

Chairperson of the PAP Committee on Agriculture, H.E Hon Kone Gognon, opened the meeting, saying that the theme for the meeting was pertinent, with a focus on ensuring food and nutrition security, pointing out that biofortification was already flagged as crucial in Africa.

Further, Dr. Ibrahim disclosed that FARA recognised the debilitating effects of hidden hunger, and highlighted FARA’s efforts, over the last years, in mainstreaming FNSSA within the National Agricultural and Innovation System (NAIS).

This was echoed by Dr Rose Omari, from FARA’s Building Nutritious Food Basket project, who elucidated the fact that micronutrient deficiency and its consequences are not widely known, as this is ‘hidden hunger.’

“Therefore, enhancing micronutrients content of staple crops during production is a critical intervention,” Dr Omari said.

Senior Advisor on Nutrition, Ms Bibi Giyose, who spoke on behalf of the NEPAD Agency’s CEO, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, brought to the fore the fact that nutrition should not be viewed as a technical issue, as it also has political, structural and numerous other dimensions that dictate the need to find multi-sectorial solutions.

Prof Francis Zotor from the University of Health and Allied Sciences and African Nutrition Society, expressed a similar sentiment with a call to strengthen synergies in moving the nutrition agenda forward on the continent.

Present at the event were legislators from the following countries: Central African Republic; Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Niger, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia.

The meeting concluded that while hidden hunger is real, reversing it is also possible to increase micronutrient content of commonly consumed foods through biofortification, especially to improve nutritional status of low income households will go a long way in redressing hidden hunger.

African Parliamentarians were called upon to follow up on declarations made by governments to ensure their implementation.

Remmy Nweke/ED, Ops

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Africa: Scale up women's rights, nutrition activism

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, three African leaders and activists, Martin Chungong, Cameroonian Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, former Prime Minister of Niger and CEO of NEPAD Agency, and Nahas Angula, former Prime Minister of Namibia and Convener of the Namibia Alliance for Improved Nutrition (NAFIN), come together to celebrate rural and urban crusaders who have transformed women’s lives and call for more activists to speak up for gender equality to fight malnutrition across Africa.
Today, as we mark International Women’s Day, we celebrate not only all women, but especially the activists – rural and urban, men and women – who are transforming women’s lives. Right now, women and men across Africa are part of a movement sweeping across the world for women’s rights, equality and justice.
You do not have to look far to see – or hear – women on the continent slowly breaking the silence, joining the #MeToo campaign on social media, raising their voices in unison alongside many men and against the status quo, organising for better representation in decision-making and demanding land rights and equal pay for work of equal value.
However, with the increase in hunger and food insecurity seen last year across parts of sub-Saharan Africa – for the first time in decades – there are few rights as important to our future survival as the right to adequate food and good nutrition. This will not happen unless each woman and man, girl and boy is equally valued and has the same access to food. This means that, when we move from thinking to acting on nutrition and food security, we must also think and act on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Throughout history, activism in Africa has yielded enormous results. Many women have fought for justice for women before us. Today this is not only a moral duty, it is the smart thing to do. Recently, countries such as Senegal and Tunisia have made strides in ensuring equal rights for both women and men. Rwanda has secured the highest percentage of women in parliament in the world, whilst women in Liberia and South Sudan have been at the forefront of peace and reconciliation efforts. In the words of Nelson Mandela – our ‘own’ Madiba – whose 100th birthday we will celebrate later this year, "freedom cannot be achieved unless women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression". Sadly, no country has achieved this freedom yet.

Where there is food insecurity, rural women and girls are disproportionally affected and more likely to experience the multiple burdens of malnutrition. They are often tasked with making sure every family and community member reaps the benefits of the best possible food and nutrients available and are involved at each stage of the food value chain – from farm to fork.
Although there are no large differences in the number of malnourished girls versus boys under five years old, the difference in power between males and females really becomes visible as girls reach adolescence. Malnourished mothers, especially those who have not attended secondary school, are more likely to give birth to malnourished girls and boys, perpetuating a vicious intergenerational cycle – with devastating effects for the brain power of the continent.
It is widely accepted that good nutrition is a maker and marker of sustainable development. What we now know is that gender equality is a maker and marker of good nutrition. With this knowledge, the main message we have for policy-makers, leaders and activists all over Africa is to scale up investments in women for better nutrition and food security everywhere. Yet, without empowering lawmakers to unblock resources from national budgets and putting in place the necessary means and policies in support of women and girls, no initiative will succeed.

Yesterday, we gathered together to address a high-level event of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Johannesburg. This Alliance has been tasked with ensuring that food security and nutrition remain at the highest level of both political and legislative agendas. We brought together a regional platform for African Members of Parliament to make sure that women’s and girls’ rights, needs and agency are at the front and centre of all actions.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development promises to leave no one behind. Recently, the publication Nature estimated that no single African country is set to end childhood malnutrition by 2030, due to large disparities within countries themselves. This is in spite of the fact that most African countries, especially much of sub-Saharan Africa and eastern and southern regions, have shown improvements.

As members of the Lead Group of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement – a voluntary push for better nutrition which today counts 60 countries, many of whom are African – we know that successful nutrition approaches are those that have sought to address and eliminate gender inequalities. Much of the reduction in hunger worldwide between 1970 and 1995 is a result of improvements in women’s status and access to decision-making, including in parliaments. We know that if we give a girl access to secondary schooling, more than 25 per cent fewer girls and boys will be stunted, and will be able to develop normally. The evidence is clear. Now is the time to act.

International Women’s Day is not just a celebration but a reminder to us to remain activists in our own right, not only as heads of agencies which promote equality, but also as individuals. Together, let us empower women in all settings, rural and urban, and make improved nutrition a reality.

We commit to scaling up women’s rights and nutrition activism in Africa, and beyond. And hope you will do the same. The #TimeisNow for the #TheAfricaWeWant.

*Contributed by: Op-ed by Martin Chungong, Secretary-General of IPU, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of NEPAD Agency and Nahas Angula, former Prime Minister of Namibia and Convener of the Namibia Alliance for Improved Nutrition (NAFIN)

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Poor diets, ill-equipped food systems growing threat to nutrition

The Asia-Pacific region, home to most of the world's undernourished people, needs urgent action to improve diets and reset its food systems which are critical to the delivery of healthy, nutritious foods, says the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), reports NaijaAgroNet.

According to the findings of FAO's 2017 Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition report, there is a pressing need to tackle malnutrition alongside further promotion of the consumption of healthier foods while curbing the growth in consumption of unhealthy foods. 

In addition to further investment in agriculture, the report also underlines an urgent need to step up investment in other areas to tackle malnutrition, such as improvements to sanitation, access to safe drinking water, improving diets during the first 1,000 days of life and policies and promotions to increase consumption of diverse nutrient-rich foods.

While food security has improved for millions of people in the Asia-Pacific region, hunger and malnutrition appear to be on the rise in some areas, the report warns. The latest figures indicate roughly half-a-billion people are undernourished in Asia and the Pacific.

The situation is particularly dire for children below the age of five. Overall, one-in-four suffers from stunting.  However, the report also finds that, during the last 15 years, obesity is on the rise, with "significant increases" in the prevalence of overweight children, particularly in South Asia, that is from three per cent to seven per cent and Oceania, from five per cent to nearly 10 per cent.

Isaac Oyimah with agency reports/GEE


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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Urban diets and nutrition: Trends, challenges, and opportunities for policy action

NaijaAgroNet:

The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition has launched a new brief: Urban diets and nutrition: trends, challenges, and opportunities for policy action, reports NaijaAgroNet.
Just as the President of the African Development Bank Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has received the World Food Prize 2017.
The brief looks at the challenge of providing healthy diets in urban environments in low and middle-income countries, presenting eight recommendations directed primarily at policymakers especially those working at the sub-national level.
Attended by Global Panel Members Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank and 2017 World Food Prize laureate; Agnes Kalibata, President, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa; Tom Arnold, Former Director General, Institute of International and European Affairs; and Emmy Simmons, Senior Adviser, Non-resident, to the Center for Strategic and International Studies Global Food Security Project; former Assistant Administrator, US Agency for International Development.

66 per cent of the world’s population is projected to be urban by 2050. The additional 2.5 billion urban residents will live primarily in Africa and Asia. This is leading to a growing crisis of urban malnutrition.

“There is an urgent need for better urban governance around food, nutrition and health”, said Adesina. “Urban populations need improved information on how to live well by eating well.”

The brief gives particular focus to the growing threat of diet-related non-communicable disease. The greater wealth in urban centres, relative to rural areas, does not necessarily lead to healthier diets, with excessive consumption of highly-processed foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients. Emmy Simmons argues that “within complex, diverse urban environments, poor dietary choices could create a further financial burden, with rising levels of overweight or obesity generating increases in the health care costs associated with non-communicable diseases”.

The eight recommendations in the brief call for a wider policy approach which integrates actions from food, agriculture and nutrition into urban planning, education, health, sanitation, water and infrastructure development. It will also require a shift in attitudes towards the informal food sector and the collection of better data on urban diets.

The brief shows how policymakers at the local level need to champion better diets and nutrition, but this requires them to be both mandated and empowered to act. Panel Member Tom Arnold argues that these “public policymakers need to recognise that productivity, quality of life and life expectancy in urban areas will revolve around healthy diets and lifestyles.”

Without decisive action, the Global Panel argues that this urban malnutrition crisis will deepen. This is especially important in many low and middle-income countries where urban dwellers do not consume enough basic calories, lack sufficient micronutrients, or suffer from being overweight or obese with associated diet-related non-communicable diseases, leading to a ‘triple burden of urban malnutrition’. As Dr. Kalibata recently stated, “The growing threat of an urban food crisis can no longer be ignored”.
Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Monday, November 28, 2016

Symposium on sustainable food systems, improved nutrition coming

A high-level meeting to examine concrete actions in the United Nations (UN) nutrition decade has been advanced to hold in Rome, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The symposium, NaijaAgroNet gathered is scheduled for December 1 and 2 at the Headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome.

NaijaAgroNet also gathered that some of the topics lined up for discussion include "How can we shape food systems so that they deliver foods for a healthy and nutritious diet? How do we ensure poor communities have access to markets that sell nutritious foods at affordable prices? What information should be included on food labels to promote healthier diets?"

These are among the pressing questions for discussion at the upcoming International Symposium on Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition.

The meeting which is jointly-organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), NaijaAgroNet reports is expected to build on the successful Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) held in November 2014.


The symposium, NaijaAgroNet further report will be webcast live, will bring together policymakers and parliamentarians, international experts and scientists, chefs and young innovators, to examine concrete ways to change food systems so that they respond to current and future nutrition challenges, including climate change, population growth and economic inequalities.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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