By Esther Onyegbula
A Non-Governmental Organisation, Lift Above Poverty Organisation, (LAPO), has called for concerted efforts to ensure proper nutrition for Nigerian children in order to protect their overall well-being.
Mr Honestus Obadiora, Executive Director, LAPO made the call while speaking at the 2021 International School Meals Day (ISMD) organised by LAPO at Bejide Group of Schools in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.
Obadiora, represented by Mrs Sandra Asowata, Head, LAPO NGO, Western Region, said the ISMD was commemorated annually on the second Thursday in the month of March.
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He said its objective was to assemble stakeholders to discuss and raise awareness on the importance of quality nutrition for children, draw attention to the connection between healthy eating, education, and better learning, ensure that children inculcate healthy eating habits, and promote their well-being in schools.
Obadiora said the theme of this year’s celebration, Eat for the Health of it, was very apt because childhood malnutrition was one of the major causes of childhood morbidity and mortality in Nigeria.
According to him, Nigeria losses about 2,300 under-five-year-olds and 145 women of childbearing age every single day.
“We strongly believe that with the support of all stakeholders, we can achieve the Sustainable Development Goal target of reducing maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births and end the preventable death of newborns and children under five years of age to as low as 25 per 1000 live births,” he said.