Tackling food, nutrition challenges among children
According to a research by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), about 1.77 million children in Nigeria are leaving with malnutrition, an estimate of 368,000 children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and additional 727,000 children are at risk of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM).
Malnutrition among children has caused a high rate of morbidity and mortality, absenteeism and poor academic performance. As part of the efforts to mitigate the condition and prevent further cases, UNICEF delivers an integrated package of interventions to affected populations in Nigeria, in collaboration with the government, other United Nations’ agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Experts have suggested food donations, sustainable food production, urban farming, access to education, government interventions, and women empowerment, among others, as ways to end hunger and malnutrition.
Joining other forces to eradicate hunger and prevent non-attendance to school, Lagos Food Bank Initiative (LFBI) has launched a project to feed over 500 pupils daily in primary school.
Speaking, Lead Volunteer, LFBI, Adedunni Oyekanmi, said the project was birthed out a research which indicated that many pupils go to school without eating and having food to eat during lunch breaks.
“We want a situation where kids go to school and are able to learn without thinking that their mates have food to eat but they don’t,” she said.
Oyekanmi added that the initiative would get its supply through personal and cooperate donors. Chief Executive Officer, TannkCo, Anita Okoye, said her support for the initiative stemmed from the reports that some kids cannot afford food.