Focus on Reporting Malnutrition Preventive Measures —- Expert Tasks Journalists
By: Femi Mustapha
A media Expert, Mr. Akin Jimoh, has called on the government at all levels and other stakeholders to prevent malnutrition among the under-five children in the country rather than seeking a cure or managing it.
He asserted this at a 3 – Day Civil Society Scaling-up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) Media training held in Abuja on 1st of June 2022.
According to him, policy makers and stakeholders need to wake up from their slumber and find a way to reduce the mortality rates that occurred because of the malnutrition crisis.
Mr. Jimoh, who is the Executive Director of Development Communications Network (DEVCOM) said it is time policy makers in the country take a step to stop the menace.
He stressed that if non-preventive measures are taken, the number of deaths would increase daily due to malnutrition. He therefore tasked participants at the training to use their medium to enlighten the public on preventing Children from being malnourished rather than reporting the number of deaths.
He said malnutrition was a collective problem and needed a collective response from all relevant stakeholders.
Mr. Jimoh also advocated for more commitments from the media to ensure that decision makers to create the desired changes in the country as regards malnutrition
The Executive Director of CS- SUNN Sunday Okoronkwo said the Alliance has a common vision with clearly defined roles and responsibilities, clear accountability and sustainability framework.
Mr. Okoronkwo said the vision of the Alliance is to mobilize Non-State Actors to advocate, generate evidence, build capacity and stimulate communities to scale up nutrition in Nigeria.
Speaking on the Partnership for Improving Nigeria Nutrition Systems (PINNS) 2.0 project, the Executive Director explained that the PINNS 2.0 is a three-year project designed to strengthen the Nigeria nutrition systems to be more Result-driven, Effective, Serviceable, Efficient and Transparent for Human Capital Development (RESET4HCD).
He added that Nigeria’s HCD target by 2030 is to attain 20 million additional healthy under-five-years-old children surviving and not stunted educated completing secondary school and productive youth entering the labour force Nigerians.
Okoronkwo stressed that for the Alliance to achieve its mission and accomplish the PINNS 2.0 media are the key stakeholders that must be carried along.
In her remarks, the Communication Officer of CS-SUNN Mrs. Lilian Okafor said the media are important partners in the fight against malnutrition.
Speaking about the reason for the training Lilian Okafor, she said it will improve the participants’ reportage and visibility in the malnutrition campaigns.
She added that it will strengthen their writing capacity as reporters.
In his presentation, CS-SUNN project Assistant Mr. Dare Oguntade stated that globally, out of a population of seven billion, about two billion suffer from micro -nutrient malnutrition, said that, saying Out of five billion adults worldwide, nearly two billion are overweight with one in every 12 persons, having type two diabetes,” he said.
Dare said that malnutrition has the ability of sapping intelligence since childhood and, by extension, compromising the future of Nigerian leaders.
According to him globally, out of a population of seven billion, about two billion suffer from micro -nutrient malnutrition, saying Out of five billion adults worldwide, nearly two billion are overweight with one in every 12 persons, having type two diabetes,” he said.
He also said that Nigeria currently accounted for the 11 percent of the total global under five years’ deaths, with 37 percent of children under the age of five stunted.
He added that 18% of the children were wasted and 29 percent were underweight.
Mr. Dare stated that only 17 percent of mothers in Nigeria breastfeed their children, according to the National Demographic and Health Survey of 2013.
He described malnutrition to include three indicators he listed as over-nutrition, under nutrition and micro -nutrient deficiency.
He said malnutrition was a collective problem and needed a collective response from all relevant stakeholders, and the media must be in the forefront.