CISLAC: over 361,000 Nigerian children die of malnutrition every year

Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) stated that nearly 1,000 Nigerian children die of malnutrition related causes every day, totalling about 361,000 each year.

It added that 2.5 million children under the age of five years are affected by malnutrition, saying this accounts for one tenth of the global total.

The civil society organisation, however, called on both federal and state governments to improve allocation to nutrition purposes, release and proper accountability of such funds.

CISLAC programme manager, Chioma Kanu, said this on Tuesday in Abuja at a Social Media Conference on Sustainable Funding for Nutrition in Nigeria.

According to her, the conference was geared towards improving advocacy on finding funding solution to the problem of malnutrition, stating that media and civil society must be equipped to effectively track and report budgetary allocation as it related to nutrition in the northern states.

She added the social media must begin to enlighten the government, owners in health sector and other relevant bodies on the need to change their idea on nutrition,

She further stated that UNICEF has been supporting the government of Nigeria through downstream nutrition activities with a focus on Northern Nigeria but said the funds might not be available for a long time, because most donor agencies were moving from service delivery-oriented to advocacy.

Her words: “We are sending the message of ownership of the health sector to the Nigeria government to encourage health reform.

“Maternal under-nutrition results in low birth weight which in turn contributes to high infant mortality and is also a significant factor in the high incidence of maternal mortality in Nigeria.

“Undernourished children have lowered resistance to infection and are more likely to die from common childhood illnesses and 45% of all under-five deaths are attributable to under-nutrition. Malnutrition often hinders socio-economic development of nations and increases poverty,” she further explained.”

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