In Kaduna Organisations call for massive awareness campaign against malnutrition

Maigamu said that a larger percentage of the public were still unaware of the kind of foods that their body needed for healthy development.

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In July, the UN said nearly 250,000 children under five could suffer from severe acute malnutrition this year in Borno state play

In July, the UN said nearly 250,000 children under five could suffer from severe acute malnutrition this year in Borno state

(AFP)
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Three Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on Monday called for massive awareness campaign on good nutrition practice as part of the efforts to address the rising cases of malnutrition in the country.

In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna, the organisations attributed the increasing cases of malnutrition, particularly in the northern part of the country to ignorance.

They said that the campaign was necessary to enlighten the public on the good nutrition practice, using available resources, noting that many people were still not aware of what makes a good nutritious meal.

In his comments, Mr James Maigamu, the Coordinator, Community Trust Health Foundation, Kaduna, said that there was the need for huge investment in awareness campaign, particularly in the rural areas.

Maigamu said that a larger percentage of the public were still unaware of the kind of foods that their body needed for healthy development.

“People only know that they need to eat, but don’t know what makes a good nutritious meal.

“There is the need for huge investment in awareness campaign to enlighten the public on what makes nutritious meal,’’ Maigamu said.

On his part, Mr Bobai Bonet, the Programme Officer, Aid Foundation in Kaduna, commended the Kaduna State Government for the various interventions to address malnutrition crises in the state.

Bonet said that not much was being done in curbing the scorch, because too much attention was being giving to treatment and little on preventive measures.

“We produce a lot of what our body needs, but due to ignorance, we don’t consume them, we sell them.

”We are basically farmers; as such, our children have no business being malnourished.

“Much needs to be done to educate households on how to use backyard agricultural produces to make nutritious meal,’’ he said.

Bonet said that there was the need for the state government to engage the non-governmental organisations (NGOs), CSOs and other relevant stakeholders to create the needed awareness.

He said that government should equally engage the village heads, district heads and other community leaders to take the message to the grassroots.

Also, Miss Jessica Bartholomew, a Nutrition Officer with Positive Hope Support and Care Initiative, said that the nutritious contents of many locally produced agricultural produces remain untapped, particularly in the rural areas.

Bartholomew said that many rural farmers grow soya beans, groundnuts, vegetables and rear chickens, but ended up selling the produces to buy clothes for their children without considering their proper feeding.

“Your child is not healthy, he is malnourished, and you sold soya beans, for example, to buy him clothes. What is the sense in that?

“People in rural areas erroneously believe that only those in urban areas have access to good diet. They don’t know that what they cultivate around them is equally good enough.

“This is simply ignorance, and we need to bridge the gap,’’ she said.

In his remarks, Adegoke Olayinka, an independent consultant, said that the problem of malnutrition include poverty, lack of awareness, cultural and religious beliefs, among many other factors.

Olayinka advised that multi-sectorial approach should be employed in addressing the problem.

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