NGO calls for increased government budgetary funding in nutrition to achieve healthy society

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From El-Yakub Dabai, Birnin Kebbi

Civil Society on Scaling up Nutrition in Nigeria, (CS-SUNN), has identified poor budgetary provisions amongst states of Nigeria as a major factor that lead to the increased of numbers malnutrition cases amongst children that often resulted into stunted, overweighted and underweighted population.

The Country Programme Officer of CS-SUNN, Ambrose Evhoesor, while addressing a One Day Media Round Table Meeting in Birnin Kebbi, said the rise of stunted children in the society would affect national development in the future because they would live with low iq for research and societal growth if not addressed.

He stressed that one of the fundamental means of addressing this problem was exclusive breastfeeding from birth to six months, therefore called on state governments to extend maternity from three to six months to achieve the set objective set by UNICEF and also sustainable funding by the world body.

Evhesor noted with concern that Kebbi as one of the 28 participating state fighting against malnutrition was leading with 66% of stunted children in the country and therefore called on the authorities to improve on the budgetary provision to relevant ministries and agencies to tackles the problems.

In her address, the Permanent Secretary Kebbi State Ministry of Budger and Economic Planning who is also the Chairperson State Committee on Food and Nutrtion, Aisha Usman said Government had made budgetary provisions for Ministries that were connected with Nutritional activies.

Amongst the Ministries, Aisha Usman said they included those of Health, Women Affairs, Agriculture, Educated, Budget and Economic Planning, Environment, Water Resources and Information to scale up nutrition in the state knowing that if Kebbi failed to live above board it would be removed from the benefitting states by October when the window of the initial approval reached its end.

The State Coordinator of CS-SUNN, Rachel Samuel Hassan, expressed delight over the Committee on Foods and Nutrition’s plan to engage on advocacy visits to Nutrition Stakeholders both at State and Local Governments level, admitting that the gesture would go a long way in scaling the fight against malnutrition in the society.

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