National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) has been urged to create a nutrition Community Development Service (CDS) Group, to sensitise rural communities on ways to curb the menace of malnutrition in Nigeria.
A serving Corp member with Command Children School, Minna in Niger State, Miss Longdi Paul Pwaspo, made the call in an interview with Health Reporters correspondent.
She said malnutrition posses threat to women and children under 5, “as it weaken their ability to a smooth child birth and making them more susceptible to infection.”
Miss Pwaspo revealed that according to recent report by UNICEF, Nigeria has the second highest burden of stunted children in the world with a national prevalent rate of 43 percent children under 5 years translating to 16.5 million children.
She said with malnutrition currently at an average rate of 3.1 percent, Nigeria is not on track to achieving the Sustaiable Development Goals (SDGs) target of 40 percent reduction of stunting by 2025.
According to her, to achieve the SDGs target, there is need for concerted effort to create awareness among women, adolescent girls and children on the menace of malnutrition and personal hygiene.
Pwaspo said her decision to contribute her quota to the fight against malnutrition as her personal CDS project was to create awareness on the need to have adequate diet, sensitize women and youth on personal hygiene and empower them on how to produce soya milk with crayfish aimed at improving the nutrition status of Nigerians.
Also speaking, Command HQ TRADOC NA, Major General Kassim Ibrahim Abdulkarim represented by brigade commander, Col Aim Lapai commended the NYSC for giving Nigerian opportunity to serve their country through the scheme.
Maj Gen. Kassim Abdulkarim said the issue of malnutrition is worrisome especially in a country like Nigeria that is an agricultural heaven and urged parents to take the issue serious especially in the first two years of their children’s life.