Linus Oota, Lafia
The Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) has revealed that about 67.9% of children under the age of five suffering from anaemia with 65.1% of women of reproductive age are suffering the same scourge in Nasarawa State.
This was made known recently in Lafia during a one-day media roundtable on micro-nutrient deficiency control in collaboration with the Federal Ministries of Health and Agriculture organised by CS-SUNN, a civil society organisation.
Speaking during the roundtable discussion, the executive secretary of CS-SUNN, Beatrice Eluaka expressed worry that the high rate of malnourished children in the state was unacceptable and called for deliberate actions to address the situation.
The CS-SUNN executive secretary further said that billions of people are suffering from different forms of malnutrition, adding that the burden has remained a great source of concern particularly in developing countries including Nigeria.
She explained that the Federal Government had put in place strategies to address the burden of micronutrient deficiencies, such as Vitamin A supplementation, Zinc supplementation, micronutrient powders, iron-folic acid supplementation among others.
She noted that the disturbing statistics is an indication that a lot more still needed to be done to combat the scourge.
“Global statistics revealed that 76.1% of pre-school aged Nigerian children were anaemic, with 66.7% of pregnant women suffering from anaemia; it is worrisome as the WHO has identified anaemia as a severe public health problem in Nigeria,” she said
She said CS-SUNN is, therefore, calling on government at all levels to scale up provision of a basic package of nutrition services across primary health care centres in Nigeria.
“The provision of routine services in primary health centres should be prioritised as this will promote the distribution of micronutrient powder, Iron/folic acid supplements and zinc including vitamin A supplementation for pregnant women and children respectively,” she said.