By VICTORIA OJEME
The number of stunted children born in Nigeria due to malnutrition may rise to 13.4 million by 2020, except the Federal government expedites action the road-map to scale up nutrition interventions.
Susan Grant, Country Director, Save the Children, a Non Governmental Organisation who made the statement last week in Abuja cited the new Global Report titled “A life free from hunger: Tackling Child Malnutrition”, said nearly one out of five (11 million) chronically malnourished children in Africa live in Nigeria
According to the Report, the nation is predicted to have about 2.4 million additional stunted children by 2020.
Grant said: “Malnutrition is a global crisis, it is the underlying cause of more than 2.6 million child deaths every year. Malnutrition has been the silent crisis for too long. It is time world leaders invest in tackling child malnutrition and ensure that all children have a life free from hunger.
“Last month Nigeria held its first ever nutrition summit in Abuja to develop a roadmap to tackle child malnutrition. As part of its global commitment to prioritise nutrition, Save the Children, in partnership with Action Against Hunger and UNICEF, will work to improve nutrition in Northern Nigeria through strengthening nutrition interventions which are both affordable and available,” she said.
Head, Health and child survival, Save The Children, Dr. Binyam Gebru advocated for inauguration of the stalemated National Nutrition Council.
The NGO’s Senior Programme Adviser, Government and Advocacy, Dr. David Olayemi, said in Nigeria, 70 per cent of all children did not meet criteria for a minimum acceptable diet.
He regretted the country’s failure to address the nutrition crisis and advised countries with high burden of under five malnutrition to learn from success stories of Brazil, Bangladesh and Ghana.