TheCivil Society- Scaling up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), have jointly expressed worry over the rate of micronutrient deficiency (MND) form of malnutrition among Nigerians, especially under-five children.
The Executive Secretary, CS-SUNN, Mrs. Beatrice Eluaka, told journalists at a roundtable discussion in Kaduna that the burden of malnutrition has remained a great source of concern particularly in developing countries, including Nigeria where micronutrient deficiencies affect about 2 billion people globally.
“Nigeria has an alarming prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies that have persisted over the decades, “she said. “Micro nutrient deficiencies (MND) are a major public health problem caused by a lack of essential vitamins and minerals in diets, which the body requires in very small amounts to survive and thrive. Micro-nutrients include minerals and vitamins which play crucial roles in human nutrition including prevention and treatment of various diseases.”
According to her, adequate intake of micronutrients particularly iron, vitamin A, iodine, zinc from conception to age 24 months is critical for child growth and mental development.
She further lamented that the COVID-19 pandemic has some implications for those most vulnerable to micronutrient deficiencies as well as the essential nutrition services that prevent the devastating effects of malnutrition.
“The COVID-19 pandemic may result in significant short- and long-term disruptions to food systems, increasing and complicating the global prevalence of all forms of malnutrition, protein deficiency and nutrient deficiencies”, she said.
She, therefore, called on governments at all levels to evaluate various programmes addressing micronutrients deficiencies in the country to provide valuable insight on their progress and effectiveness as well as a roadmap on future priorities. Sun News.