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Experts call for more investment to tackle malnutrition

by Muhammad Sani

By Asma’u Ahmad

A cardiologist and three consultant nutritionists have called for more investment in nutrition as the most effective way to address malnutrition, especially in mothers and children.

Speaking with newsmen in separate interviews in Lagos, the experts said that people should be educated more on the importance of eating healthy foods.

A Consultant Nutritionist and Network Coordinator, Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), Dr. Phillipa Momah, said that nutrition was under-reported in the country.

According to her, nutrition should be taken seriously and given the attention it needed to address malnutrition, especially in mothers and children.

She said: “When a mother is well fed, it passes on to her baby and that baby grows up healthy. We need to invest more in nutrition. We have foods in the country and so people should be made to know that they can eat these foods and live well.”

On his part, a Consultant Nutritionist with the United Nations, Dr. John Egbuta, said green leaves, including okra, spinach and cucumber, are important for healthy living as they are rich in folic acid.

Dr. Egbuta said that women of child bearing age should have adequate amount of folic acid in their body system to avoid giving birth to babies suffering from spina bifida, which he said occurs when the spinal cord is malfunctioning and becomes irreparable.

Meanwhile, a Consultant Nutritionist, Professor Tola Atinmo, called for adequate sensitisation on healthy foods, saying people would likely change their attitude and make right choices if well informed.

The professor of nutrition at the University of Ibadan, said people need information on eating habits, hence the need to constantly inform people on the need for healthy living.

He urged government at all levels to take interest in ensuring that people got the right information they need to live healthy.

Also, a Consultant Cardiologist, Dr. Wale Oke, on his part said that people should plan their families in such a way that they could cater for their nutrition.

Dr. Oke, who is also the Chief Medical Director, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, (LASUTH), said it is not only about diet now, but to also to educate people on how to live within their means.

He said that people should imbibe the habit of eating balanced meals instead of depending on supplements.

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