Monday, 2 June 2014

Malnutrition accounts for over 50% deaths in Nigeria


Picture 3 – Marasmus Photo

Kwashiorkor is a form of malnutrition that occurs when there is not ...
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Child suffering from kwashiorkor
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Dr Ignatius Onimawo, the immediate past National President, Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN), has said that malnutrition accounted for over 50 per cent of under-five deaths in Nigeria.
Onimawo said this at a Complementary Feeding Workshop organised by the Nestle Nutrition Institute Africa, in collaboration with the society on Monday in Lagos.
He said that more than half of the deaths could be prevented through adequate nutrition as well as imbibing complementary feeding practice.
The nutritionist described complementary feeding as a practice adopted when breast milk alone could not be sufficient to increase nutrient composition for the growth and development of a child.
``The best way to fight malnutrition and secure a healthy generation is by imbibing complementary feeding practice in the first 1,000 days of life.
``This stage in a child`s life is critical because this is when a child is vulnerable to infections and even death.
``But with adequate nutrition, a child's growth, development and health is guaranteed and the future of the nation is secured,'' he said.
Also speaking, Mrs Oluwatoyin Adams, the Chief Nutrition Officer, Lagos State Ministry of Health, said that malnutrition occurred through inadequate micro-nutrients which, he said, was a big public health problem.
Adams said that poverty, ignorance and poor education on nutrition increased the risk of malnutrition.
She decried the poor implementation of nutrition policies and urged government at all levels to place high priority on nutrition as a form of preventive medicine.
In her remark, Prof. Ngozi Nnam, the National President of society, called for increased awareness on the importance of complementary feeding to the growth and development of a child.
Nnam, who was represented by Dr Bartholomew Brai, said that the awareness was also important to lay adequate nutritional foundation for a child.
She said that healthy and well developed children would effectively pilot the affairs of any given nation.
Mrs Ella Nwachukwu, a representative of Nestle Nutrition Institute Africa, said the institute was established to address the nutrition and health challenges in Africa and to help people to live longer and healthier lives.
Nwachukwu said the institute also encouraged nutrition researches to contribute to efforts that would put nutrition on the health agenda of governments.
According to her, nutrition is an investment in the future and it begins in the first 1,000 days of life



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