The United Nations Children’s fund (UNICEF), has partnered the Bayelsa state government to reduce the high level of malnutrition among mothers and children in the state.
The Deputy Director Food and Nutrition (MB&NP), Abuja, Roselyn Gabriel, disclosed this Yesterday, during a stakeholder meeting held at the State Banquet Hall, in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The event with the theme “Prioritising Investment on Maternal nutrition and infant and young child feeding-key to sustainable development in Bayelsa state” was also a medium to engage state executives and the legislators on the need to invest more.
Speaking earlier before her video presentation titled “Malnutrition: Nigeria’s silent crisis”, she said, inadequate funding of malnutrition activities posses threat to the society, adding that nutrition is at the heart of sustainable development goal.
She further stated that the need for the partnership is quiet enormous because of the worrisome rate of malnutrition in most part of the country, noting that the Ministry is here because they know the damaging effect of malnutrition in the society and not just on the mother and children.
She urged the government to pay more attention on reducing malnutrition, adding that the investment has a high return perhaps if one naira is invested, six naira is expected in return.
Also speaking, a member representing Yenagoa 2 in the Bayelsa state House of Assembly, Hon. Koku Obiyai, stressed the need for collaboration, adding that she has been advocating and sensitising the people on the danger of malnutrition for the past 28 years.
She said the way mother feed their children from birth has become problematic, noting that the budget on nutrition should have a sub-head so that nutritionists should have budget to carry out workshops, sensitisation programme to build a better society.
According to the State commissioner of health, Prof. Ebitimi Etebu, government is doing all to ensure there’s food security in the state to help eradicate the scourge, adding that productivity and capability of children will be low if they are malnourish.
He further said malnutrition should be taken as a natural crisis in the country, noting that if we can’t tackle malnutrition it means we are under-developing ourselves.