Home News FG restates commitment to improving maternal, infant nutrition

FG restates commitment to improving maternal, infant nutrition

by Haruna Gimba
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By Asmau Ahmad

The Federal Government has renewed its commitment to improving maternal and infant nutrition in the country.

The Minister of State for Health, Mr. Joseph Ekumankama, said this on Tuesday in Abuja at the launch of the Accelerating Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition project.

Represented by Dr Salma Ibrahim-Anas, he decried the slow progress recorded in maternal and infant nutrition.

Ekumankama government would upscale its collaboration with relevant stakeholders to achieve the goal.

He noted that the 5-year MIYCN project was been implemented by an NGO, Alive and Thrive (A&T), and funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The minister said the slow progress was from a current survey supported by Acceleration of Reduction of Nutrition in Nigeria, which recently launched the preliminary findings.

He, however, added that the survey showed progress in immunisation coverage and family planning.

“We are still not yet there, we have also seen progress in immunisation coverage, and family planning which is associated with child survival and nutrition of children.

“But in other aspects of nutrition, we are still lagging behind. The progress has been very slow,” he said.

According to him, malnutrition contributes to developmental delays, impaired academic ability, a lifetime of poor health, increased risk of diseases especially chronic diseases and a decline in human development.

While stressing the optimum requirements of nutrition for the growth and health of the mother and infant, he added that the MIYCN project would address the challenges and bring about the desired goals.

“We are not yet there. We need to double our efforts to ensure that we really put in enough time and resources, and most importantly, we need to acknowledge that there is a problem.

“What we give to the children really matters and what the mothers eat at that time, also matters.

“I believe that this project will not only accelerate maternal, infant and young children feeding interventions, but it will greatly impact the nutrition narrative in the country by directly addressing nutrition issues,” he said.

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