By Victoria Ojeme
First Lady of Nigeria, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, has called on stakeholders at the three tiers of government to tackle issues relating to malnutrition in children across the country.
In a press statement in Abuja, Mr. Aliyu Abdullahi Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, (Office of the First Lady, disclosed that Mrs. Buhari as part of the Severe Acute Malnutrition, SAM, foundation, acknowledges the need to add her voice to the ongoing advocacy for improving the nutrition situation in the country in the face of COVID-19 pandemic.
He explained that Her Foundation is a member of the Nigeria SAM consortium which targets advocacy for sustainable intervention towards the prevention and treatment of Severe Acute Malnutrition, SAM, in Nigeria.
According to him, “Experts in the field have posited that proper nutrition strengthens the immune system to combat most illnesses including the novel coronavirus adding that malnutrition on the other hand weakens the immune system thereby increasing susceptibility to diseases and eventual death.
Adding that 45 percent of children under 5 years old are already malnourished in Nigeria.
He maintained that Mrs. Buhari strongly believes that making provisions for this category of children is a step towards upholding their rights to good nutrition and their right to life.
However, Mrs. Buhari called on all stakeholders to commit funds to the prevention and treatment of all forms of malnutrition, ensuring that all policies and services required for treatment of malnutrition including the CMAM centers are supported to function optimally particular in this time.
He noted that, if these actions are put in place, protecting children from the scourge of severe acute malnutrition will go along the way adding that taking steps towards attaining holistic health of the Nigerian population and in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, will leave no one behind.”