No doubt, the novel coronavirus pandemic has disrupted and distorted different areas of human endeavors and the nutrition ecosystem readily comes to mind in this regard. Figures available on the nutrition status of Nigerians, pre-pandemic, reveals that Nigeria has the second highest number of malnourished children with 2.5 million children in danger of severe acute malnutrition and an alarming 37 percent of under 5 children stunted. (UNICEF 2020).
The prevalence of wasting among Nigerian children stands at around 18 percent while the prevalence of undernutrition among pregnant women is 11 percent and overweight/obese individuals stands at 25 percent.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the above scenario in multiple folds. One of the biggest challenges was the disruption of food system. Access to basic commodities has become problematic because market places and hospitals are restricted to individuals with face masks.
Getting vitamin A supplements for infants and young children is prematurely cut off, thereby denying certain groups of children this nutrient needed for their development. Similarly, pregnant women’s inability to access antenatal care have deprived growing fetuses’ nutrients like proteins, iron, folic acid and B- complex needed to the concept of ‘first 1000 days’, starting from pregnancy to the second birthday. The Nigerian Voice