Nigeria has second-highest number of malnourished, stunted children: ReportDevdiscourse News Desk | Abuja | Updated: 23-11-2020 09:39 IST | Created: 17-11-2020 13:26 IST
As much as 2.5 million children under the age of 5 are suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in Nigeria, making it the country with the second-highest number of stunted children, according to a report by This Day.
The data was revealed earlier this Monday by Prince Clem Agba, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning at the flagging ceremony of Nigeria's nutrition week for 2020 in Abuja.
While addressing the people, Agba said, "despite concerted efforts by the government in recent years, particularly in the areas of child nutrition and breastfeeding, malnutrition (and other public health issues) have remained a challenge".
He further added that "(the challenge) must be addressed through the implementation of innovative policies and strategies that are appropriately funded, data-driven, sustainable, and optimized in terms of transparency and accountability for the efforts to yield the desired results."
Agba expressed concern about the situation and asked the government for help in the matter. Keeping the government in focus, he said that authorities "must also continue to work collaboratively across all levels of governments and hand-in-hand with the private sector and development partners in this regard." He pointed out the primary reasons being the scarcity of food and nutrition, and poor image of the federal government in terms of economic and development milestones. Agba also mentioned a "Nutrition Campaign Week" a week-long forum an initiative by the government. He termed stunting "the silent killer" which is a forum to mobilize nutrition stakeholders towards handling the challenge of malnutrition.