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Infant Mortality Rate: Malnutrition responsible for Half of the Deaths in Nigeria

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Infant Deaths - Infant Mortality Rate - Man holding a child's handThe Head of Nutrition Division at the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Chris Isokpunkwu disclosed that more than half of the close to one million children under five that die in Nigeria annually, died as a result of malnutrition.

Dr. Chris Isokpunkwu stated this during a one day dissemination meeting of budget analysis of 2016/2017 health/nutrition budget and 2016 state specific score card on National Strategic Plan of Action (NSPAN) held at Kapital Club and Apartment, Asokoro, Abuja, last Friday.

He said nutrition as a public health concern impact heavily on the economy of any nation noting that the higher the rate of malnutrition, the more it impact on the productivity of the household and the community at large.

He said malnutrition can easily be curtailed as it is not just the absence of food but lack of knowledge and ignorance adding that when the issue of malnutrition was discussed, people”s mind go to wasting which is when a child is too thin for his age.

He said stunting on the other hand was difficult to concentualized even though it is the most dangerous which result from chronic malnutrition adding that it was very difficult to convince a woman whose child is short for his age that the child is malnurished.

Dr. Chris Isokpunkwu said a resent survey done shows that about 18 percent of the children of the very wealthy are also malnurished which also confirm the fact that malnutrition is not just about poverty but ignorance.

He said if Nigeria must win the fight against malnutrition, government at all levels must make funds available for nutrition activities noting that appropriating funds was one thing and releasing the funds was another.

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He said it was important to track nutrition resources adding that when funds are tracked, it is not to indict people but to foster transparancy and accountability.

He urged relevant stakeholders especially CSOs to follow the release of money allocated for nutrition activities to ensure that it is used for what it was actually released for

He said the FG was taking bold steps to address nutrition by increasing funding for nutrition activities noting that if Nigeria as a nation do not address malnutrition, it would address us.

Speaking earlier, Project Director, CS-SUNN, Mrs. Beatric Eluaka said the essence of the meeting was to disseminate the funding from the budget analysis which was not meant to indict anybody but to help the state know the progress so far done and the challenges.

Mrs. Beatric said the outcome would help improve the health and nutritional status of the children, woman and the vulnerable in the various states.

She urged participating states of Niger, Kaduna and Nasarawa to use the findings to advocate for improved funding and the implmentation of the NSPAN.

Dr. Chris Isokpunkwu, Head, Nutrition Division, Federal Ministry of Health, has revealed that more than half of the close to one million children under five that die in Nigeria annually, died as a result of malnutrition. Dr. Chris Isokpunkwu stated this during a one day dissemination meeting of budget analysis of 2016/2017 health/nutrition budget and 2016 state specific score card on National Strategic Plan of Action (NSPAN) held at Kapital Club and Apartment, Asokoro, Abuja, last Friday.

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He said nutrition as a public health concern impact heavily on the economy of any nation noting that the higher the rate of malnutrition, the more it impact on the productivity of the household and the community at large. He said malnutrition can easily be curtailed as it is not just the absence of food but lack of knowledge and ignorance adding that when the issue of malnutrition was discussed, people”s mind go to wasting which is when a child is too thin for his age. He said stunting on the other hand was difficult to concentualized even though it is the most dangerous which result from chronic malnutrition adding that it was very difficult to convince a woman whose child is short for his age that the child is malnurished.

Dr. Chris Isokpunkwu said a resent survey done shows that about 18 percent of the children of the very wealthy are also malnurished which also confirm the fact that malnutrition is not just about poverty but ignorance. He said if Nigeria must win the fight against malnutrition, government at all levels must make funds available for nutrition activities noting that appropriating funds was one thing and releasing the funds was another. He said it was important to track nutrition resources adding that when funds are tracked, it is not to indict people but to foster transparancy and accountability. He urged relevant stakeholders especially CSOs to follow the release of money allocated for nutrition activities to ensure that it is used for what it was actually released for He said the FG was taking bold steps to address nutrition by increasing funding for nutrition activities noting that if Nigeria as a nation do not address malnutrition, it would address us.

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Speaking earlier, Project Director, CS-SUNN, Mrs. Beatric Eluaka said the essence of the meeting was to disseminate the funding from the budget analysis which was not meant to indict anybody but to help the state know the progress so far done and the challenges. Mrs. Beatric said the outcome would help improve the health and nutritional status of the children, woman and the vulnerable in the various states. She urged participating states of Niger, Kaduna and Nasarawa to use the findings to advocate for improved funding and the implmentation of the NSPAN. (FMIH)


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