Proffering solutions to nutrition challenges
Stakeholders in the health sector have identified increased prioritisation of nutrition as the foundation for development of any nation and its citizens.They noted that well-nourished women, children, adolescents and adults live healthier lives, with greater resilience to life-threatening disease, which are preventable.
The stakeholders who gave the assertion at the official launch of Hexagon Nutrition products in Nigeria, recognised malnutrition as an injustice that can be eliminated through specific nutrition actions and sensitive strategies in Nigeria from paediatrics to geriatrics.
According to global report as cited by the Managing Director, Olpharm Nigeria Limited, Johnson Olusetire, about 149 million children are stunted, or too short for their age; 50 million children are wasted, or too thin for their height and 340 million children, that is, one in two children, suffer from deficiencies in essential vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin A and iron, while 40 million children are overweight or obese.
Olusetire laid emphasis for greater investment in nutrition to achieve progress in Nigeria, as the World Bank Group’s recent publication, “An Investment Framework for Nutrition: Reaching the Global Targets for Stunting, Anemia, Breastfeeding, and Wasting,” noted that a country’s expected return is between $4 and $35 for every $1 invested in nutrition.
He said in line with the Global Financing Facility (GFF) supports nutrition as an essential building block for the healthy development and well being of all globally, particularly women and children; there is need for supporting domestic resource mobilisation to ensure nutrition is prioritised in the national budget.
“It is estimated that investing an additional US $2.3 billion per year in a limited set of priority nutrition interventions over the next 10 years will help to save 2.3 million lives and result in 50 million fewer stunted children by 2025.He continued: “It is in the light of this new global direction for preventive focus through nutrition, rather than curative focus of diseases, that we partner Hexagon Nutrition, on wellness nutrition, disease specific/clinical nutrition, immuno nutrition, fertility nutrition, weight management nutrition and nutrient profiled nutrition as an integrated approach towards management of acute malnutrition for mother and child.”
Also speaking, the Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Moyosore Adejumo, said Nigeria needs to scale up her nutrition intervention to curb mortality due to malnutrition.She said the facts and figures on malnutrition in county seem not to have changed, lamenting that Nigerian do not pay adequate attention to their nutritional needs which ends up causing a rise in non-communicable diseases.She said nutritional supplements are necessary to balance up the nutritional produce from the farm, while she urges the public to ensure they eat right to avoid disease and mortality.
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