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Malnutrition: 68% of Nigerian children under age 5 are anaemic — World Bank

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As Nestlé introduces Golden Morn fortified with grain smart

Malnutrition: 68% of Nigerian children under age 5 are anaemic

 

By Chioma Obinna

As Nigeria battles to reverse the ugly trend and huge burden of malnutrition through the promotion of Nutrition sensitive Agriculture, statistics from the World Bank has shown that 68 per cent of Nigerian children under the age of 5 are anemic, while 50 per cent of women between the ages of 15-49 years also suffer from anemia.

To this end, in line with the Federal Government resolve Nestlé Nigeria on Wednesday, presented its new, improved Golden Morn, a maize and soya cereal, now fortified with GrainSmart.  GrainSmart is a unique blend of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B5, Vitamin C, and Iron.

Disclosing these during the relaunch of Golden Morn in Lagos, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé Nigeria PLC, Mr. Mauricio Alarcon said that the world bank data on the prevalence of anemia in Nigeria also showed that at least 50 percent of the cases can be traced to iron deficiency.

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Alazcon said in support of Federal Government efforts to reduce micronutrients deficiency among Nigerians, “Nestlé has been nourishing Nigeria for over 58 years, delighting individuals and families with high-quality nutritious food products.

We keep working to make our portfolio even healthier and tastier.  For instance, with the addition of GRAINSMART, a serving of the new Golden Morn provides 25 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Iron among other key micronutrients.”

Corroborating his views, the Head of Nutrition, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Chris Isokpunwu who alerted on the nutrition situation in the country said: “When children have anemia it retards their growths, makes them vulnerable to diseases, impairs their capacity for learning and also exposes them to infections. Women who have high iron deficiency are exposed to risk during pregnancy, so the government has taken a number of steps to address that. One of such is the allocation of iron in flour which is stable among others.”

Isokpunwu, who also commended Nestlé for its contributions towards improving Nigeria’s health indices added:  “In line with her purpose of ‘enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future’, Nestlé is working towards enabling healthier and happier lives and helping the development of resilient and thriving communities, contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2 (Zero Hunger), 3-Good Health and Wellbeing and 17 -Partnerships for the Goal).

Speaking at the occasion, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji

Sabo Nanono, represented by the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, Mrs. Karima

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Babangida commended Nestlé Nigeria PLC for being a key stakeholder and partner of the Ministry in producing and supplying quality and nutritious products towards the reduction of malnutrition in Nigeria.

“The relaunch of GOLDEN MORN fortified with vitamins and minerals could not have come at a better time than now. This is a typical private sector investment that would contribute to greatly reducing malnutrition and boosting the economy of our nation. The Federal Government is encouraging more private sector investments in the production and marketing of bio-fortified

foods and other micronutrient-rich commodities.” the Minister said.

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