Nigeria Is 2nd Among Countries With Highest Number Of Malnourished Children Globally

Dr Uthman Mubashir, Kwara Coordinator of the Civil Society
Scaling up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), on Monday said about seven million
children in the country are malnourished. Mubashir told newsmen in Ilorin that
two out of every three children are not properly fed. According to him, the
mortality rate due to malnutrition is high and running into two digits.
“With over 11 million stunted children, Nigeria is
confronted with the daunting challenge of malnutrition and ranks second behind
India among countries with highest number of stunted children globally,” he
said. The expert noted that children are mostly prone to malnutrition because
of their young age. He said that micro-nutrient deficiencies, hidden to the
naked eyes, are pervasive throughout the country with vitamin A, zinc, iron,
folic acid and iodine being the most common.

The nutritionist said he believed that public health
importance was the prevalence cause for the rise of malnutrition, consisting of
poor infant and child feeding practices. He listed other malnutrition drivers
to include lack of access to healthcare, water and sanitation, and high level
of poverty. Mubashir, however, pointed out that the money the government spent
on fighting hunger and malnutrition was not commensurate to what was on ground.

He said that much had not been achieved in the fight against
child malnutrition, stressing that death recorded from malnutrition is still
high. Mubashir urged stakeholders to adopt the National Strategic Plan of
Action for Nutrition. He added that malnutrition could be defeated through well
coordinated and multi-sectoral approaches.

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