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Improved nutrition key to improved human development-Minister

The minister of culture and information, Lai Mohammed has decried the level of malnutrition among children across Nigeria especially in the northeast, saying improved nutrition is the key to improved national and human development.

The minister who was speaking at a Two-Day Media Dialogue on Child Malnutrition, organised by United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in Yola, Adamawa state capital, said that child malnutrition is a large burden to any country across the world.

He said that there is the need for continued investment in child nutrition to safeguard Nigeria's future.

The minister was represented by the Head of Child Rights Information Bureau of the Ministry of Information, Olumide Osanyinpeju.

To address the challenges faced by malnutrition in Nigeria there is need for the creation of awareness and understanding of the challenges of resource allocation for food and nutrition security. It is imperative to combat malnutrition because it can cause death in young children particularly those under five years of age, Mohammed said.

He noted that there should be concerted effort to fight malnutrition out in totality from Nigeria in order to ensure the attainment of desired results.

Mojammes also said that addressing nutrition challenges is one of the ways through which Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be achieved as investment in nutrition would help in reducing the negative trend of malnutrition for healthy life of children across Nigeria.

Malnutrition is a large burden to a country, and tackling Malnutrition entails empowering and educating people. Improved nutrition is the key to improved national and human development and this can be done by educating the populace and creating a positive approach towards nutrition.

We have to define the strategic objectives of improving food security at the national level, community and household levels.

It is necessary that awareness be created among Nigerian populace especially for mothers; both lactating and non-lactating mothers to give � within the first six months of birth � breast milk which is enough for the infant as nutrition is the key to national development.

Adequate attention should be given to the nutrition as it is the key to national development, Mohammed added.

Also speaking, a communication officer for UNICEF, Samuel Kaalu, said the major objective of the workshop is to sensitise the media and Nigeria at large on the current situation of child malnutrition in the conflict affected area.

According to Kaalu, government at all level need to do more to end cases of child malnutrition.

In his presentation titled Child Malnutrition and the Emergency in Norrh East Nigeria, a nutrition consultant Prof Bamidele Omotola said that the insurgency in the northeast is the main driver of malnutrition in that area.

He said, insurgency has resulted in high food insecurity, increasing spread of endemic disease, loss of livelihoods amongst others.

He noted that more partners support will be needed to end malnutrition in the country, as the government cannot do it alone.

On his part, UNICEF Communication Expert, Dr. Geoffrey Njoku, said that the media dialogue is to draw media attention to the malnutrition crisis in Nigeria.

He urged participants to come up with stories that would being about a change in the situation.

Source: Voice of Nigeria