By Asma’u Ahmad
Speaker of House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, has described malnutrition as one of the most worrisome challenges in healthcaredelivery system in Nigeria.
He said this at the opening of a two-day conference on Maternal/Child Nutrition in Nigeria organised by the House Committee on Healthcare Services on Tuesday in Abuja. Represented by Deputy Minority Whip of the House, Hajiya Fatima Binta Bello (Gombe-PDP), he said that malnutrition accounted for more than 50 per cent of maternal and child death in the country.
The speaker said that the prevalence of the scourge was high and called for multi-sectoral collaboration of all stakeholders in the health sector to address the challenge.
Earlier, Chairman of the House Committee on Health, Mr Chike Okafor, had said that the committee was poised to contribute in the strengthening of healthcare system in Nigeria.
Mr Okafor said that the committee was partnering United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the effort to address malnutrition in the country.
He called for high level intervention from government, donor agencies and relevant stakeholders in the sector to address the challenge, adding that legislators had a lot of role to play on the issue.
In his remark, Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said that government had taken measures to ensure that much progress was achieved in eliminating malnutrition in maternal and child healthcare.
The minister represented by the Director of Family Health in the ministry, Dr Adebimpe Adebiyi, commended the lawmakers for organising the conference, and expressed optimism that the outcome would be fulfilling.