Coalition Task Bauchi Govt on investing much on severe acute malnutrition

By Ahmed Ahmed

A coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations under the auspices of Nigeria Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) Coalition has urged Government Bauchi state Government to invest much on Severe Acute Malnutrition, that will tackle pervasive problem of malnutrition in the State.

The Coalition of NGOs includes International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH), Aisha Buhari Foundation (ABF), Civil Society Legislative Advocacy (CISLAC and Network for Health Equity and Development (NHED) Advocating for the improvement of nutrition in Nigeria.

They made the call at the two days Media training on prevention and treatment of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in Nigeria on Thursday in Bauchi.

Mrs Moji Makanjuola, The Executive Director ISMPH said Government must invest in acute severe malnutrition to prevent stunting or risk diminishing the impact of other investments in education, health and child protection.

“That will accelerate progress on nutrition, movement is needed that is why we are advocating policy Makers in the state,” she said

Makanjouala represented by Mr Solomon Dogo Senior Programme Manager ISMPH, said that is the greatest burden governments, Agencies, civil society, Media and Communities to shared commitment to combat this terrible condition of malnutrition.

Also speaking Mr Edosa Oviawe a Development Consultant stressed that there is a need to give priority to children nutrition and child health.

“Preventing and treating cases of severe acute malnutrition through adequate advocacy to the Policy Makers, government and Public sectors to ensure management of SAM,” he said

He urged the media to hold Government accountable through reportage and awareness on the need to allocate budget line for nutrition.

In her submission, Dr Grace Onatu Programme Manager with Network for Health Equity and Development (NHED) lamented that every year, malnutrition claims the lives of children under age five and costs the economy billions of naira in lost productivity and health care costs.

She said achieving the targets of nutrition is within reach if all partners work together to immediately step up in investments in nutrition.

“Together, we can make nutrition a priority – and stunting a thing of the past if the Stakeholders are committed to the cost,” Dr Onatu said.

She, however, appealed to Government to allocate a good percentage of their budgets to support pro-nutrition programmes and interventions, paying special attention to the most disadvantaged.

“These include expanding micronutrient delivery, promoting exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and improving child-feeding practices,” she said

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