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Lai Mohammed 'FG ensuring no Nigerian child suffers from malnutrition' - Minister

The Minister said the government will ensure that all children, irrespective of social and economic status, grow up healthy.

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An infant suffering from malnutrition and malaria sits with others as they wait for treatment at an international NGO MSF (Doctors Without Boarders) outpost in Guidan-Roumdji 

(AFP Boureima Hama)

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has assured that the Federal Government is committed to reversing life-threatening diseases affecting Nigerian children.

Mohammed said this in Sokoto, in a message to the opening of a two-day Media Dialogue on Malnutrition, organised by UNICEF, with the theme ''Good Nutrition; invest more #StopChildmalnutritionNigeria.''

The minister, who was represented by Mrs Rose Madu, Head, Child Rights Information Bureau, said the government will ensure that all children, irrespective of social and economic status, grow up healthy to meet their full potentials in life.

"The federal government is also extremely committed to scaling up all nutrition activities and the prevention of child malnutrition across the nation,'' he said.

He disclosed that the government has improved funding of nutrition activities in the country and urged states and local governments to follow suit.

"Happily, the First Lady of the nation, Mrs A'isha Buhari has also embarked on activities to tame child malnutrition in the country,'' he added.

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Mohammed stressed the need for mothers to commence exclusive breastfeeding of their new-borns within the first five minutes of birth, to last for the first six months of the child's life.

''After six months of exclusive breastfeeding, the mothers can then introduce complementary feeding of nourishing diets.

''This can be sustained up to two years before the child is weaned to ensure healthy growth, with full immunity.''

In his remarks, the state Commissioner of Health, Dr Balarabe Kakale, noted that malnutrition remains the major cause of immune deficiency in children, which leaves them vulnerable to killer diseases like polio, measles, pneumonia and whooping cough.

His Information counterpart, Alhaji Abdulkadir Jeli, urged parents to provide appropriate diet to their children to protect them from malnutrition.

According to him, the state government is sensitizing the people in this direction and urged the media to help in propagating the message of exclusive breastfeeding and healthy diet.

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