Home / Health / UNICEF,CS-SUNN task SOSG on nutrition, say malnutrition catalayst to poor performance , low growth , productivity in Children

UNICEF,CS-SUNN task SOSG on nutrition, say malnutrition catalayst to poor performance , low growth , productivity in Children

S. Suleiman, Sokoto
A non governmental organisation,
Civil Society – Scale Up Nutrition in Nigeria( CS-SUNN) has identified  malnutrition as responsible for poor brain, cognitive development , performance and lower productivity among  2-3years old school children.
An Official of CS-SUNN and nutritionist, Dr Goodness Chidi Anyawu said at a one day media roundtable meeting in Sokoto where she also disclosed that Nigeria was ranked first in Africa and second globally on malnutrition.
” It is a pathetic and troubling situation no country should or can condone”, She alarmingly said.
The media roundtable meeting was held in collaboration with UNICEF as sponsor to scale up nutrition in Nigeria.
Anyawu explained that malnutrition has over bearing negative influence on human development and productivity of individual and nation growth.
According to the nutrition specialist ” Is a major cause for stunting associated with poor brain and cognitive development , performance and lower productivity among  2-3years school children.
Anyawu said ” we need to build and focus on reversing the trend through concerted efforts by promoting nutrition activities with responsive alliance on specifics across relevant stakeholders as NGOs, Youths and CBOs, the media and academia”, She declared.
Anyawu disclosed that CS-SUNN was fast tracking efforts at strengthening it’s capacity by deliberately strategizing results oriented approach by engaging donor organisations through various organs.
” We want to encourage same approach in Sokoto state to enable partners drive the vision”, stressed the nutritionist.
In his remarks while briefing the meeting on CS-SUNN specifics and its objectives on ” Increased Investment in Nutrition to Scale Up Quality Services Project” , a member of the National Steering Committee, Mr Silas Ideva stressed the need for concerted efforts towards changing the narrative disclosing that UNICEF  was willing to extend marching fund to drive its objective to success.
He noted that Nigeria has robust policies for food and nutrition but yet to be fully operational due to poor funding.
” We want to ensure Nigeria is transformed into where citizens have secured food and nutrition”, as he observed that 22.4% of households in Sokoto state were experiencing food insecurity based on the November 2023 cadre harmonized food and nutrition analysis.
” Most MDAs lack realistic budget trajectory or lines on food and nutrition. Only three states implementing paid maternity leave increase by 3 months.
Reflecting further, Mr Ideva said the non approval of the crucial strategic plan was a barrier  affecting the adoption of coordinated, multi-sectoral approach by MDAs for the promotion of food and nutrition in Sokoto state.
In the same vein, Ideva further observed that the absence of dedicated nutrition departments has worsened the challenges resulting in decentralisation of leadership and responsibility for policies , planning programming , advocacy and monitoring related to nutrition across various sectors.
According to the Official who noted that the supportive environment for maternity protection and entitlements was crucial for fostering and enhancing breastfeeding practices, was faced with obstacles.
” It is in the face of these challenges , CS-SUNN  is implementing the ” Increased Investment to Scale-Up Quality Nutrition Services Project in Sokoto state which seeks to spotlight increased investments for nutrition programme in the state.”
He stressed the need for the state government to allocate and promptly cause the release of funds for implementation of nutrition interventions, approve multi-sectoral plan of action for nutrition and scale up food fortification and availability of affordable nutritious food.
The state Director of Budget, Mr Buhari Umar while highlighting on budget , implementation and nutrition analysis said the need to put into perspective the reality of times to mitigate malnutrition was critical in the face of current challenges .
He said nothing can change without adequate budget provision and commensurate funding to scale up nutrition.
He noted low IGR , over dependence on statutory allocation, lack of reliable, realistic and relevant data  among other  challenges to quality nutrition.
” We need food security, availability and utilisation”, he said.
Mr Umar hitherto, explained that budgeting should reflect the needs and desires of the people in relation to the SDGs, SDPs and the 9 points smart agenda of the state government.
” To achieve successful implementation of the state budget, all leakages to IGR must be blocked, zero tolerance to corruption and indiscipline must be encouraged and participatory process must be given space across MDAs for positive budget performance”, he stressed.
The Director disclosed that the state government had demonstrated action for providing  N500 million in2024 for direct procurement of RUTF including other agricultural and poverty related intervention.

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