Published On: Thu, Oct 12th, 2017

Malnutrition: UNICEF applauds Aisha Buhari, NASS

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Wife of the President, Hajiya Aisha Buhari

Wife of the President, Hajiya Aisha Buhari

By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

United Nations Children Funds (UNICEF), has applauded action this week by the Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari as well as by parliamentarians to address the urgent need to tackle child malnutrition in Nigeria.
UNICEF gave this indication yesterday in a statement issued in Abuja by its Chief of Communication, Doune Porter.
It said “an estimated 2.5 million Nigerian children under the age of five suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) every year – an extremely dangerous condition that makes children nine times more likely to die from common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria. Every year, nearly 420,000 children under five die as a result of this deadly combination in Nigeria.
“More than 80 parliamentarians meeting today and tomorrow at the National Assembly are discussing ways they can follow up on commitments they made at a parliamentary meeting in June in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, to protect children from malnutrition. The Nigerian parliamentarians will plan support for Nigeria’s Action Plan to encourage exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child’s life; they will also discuss how to better coordinate action to combat malnutrition across all 36 states and better deliver nutrition solutions for children.”
UNICEF said wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, is leading the charge among Nigeria’s influential Wives of Governors to join her in becoming champions to address the country’s ongoing nutrition crisis.
“Mrs. Buhari, who established her ‘Future Assured’ campaign to end child malnutrition in Nigeria two years ago, spent Monday working with the Wife of the Vice President, Wives of Governors, Government agencies, UNICEF and partners to advocate for improved healthcare and nutrition for women and children.
“Although the problem is more widespread in northern Nigeria, there are malnourished children in every Nigerian state. Chronic malnutrition can lead to stunting, leaving children physically and/or mentally under-developed for the rest of their lives. Over 11 million children in Nigeria are stunted – a huge drain on the future of the country.
“Steps to prevent children becoming malnourished include supporting and encouraging mothers to breastfeed their babies exclusively for the first six months of life; educating families about the correct feeding practices for older babies and children; and provision of micronutrient supplements and vitamins and fortified food for pregnant women and young children.”

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