Saturday, May 20, 2017

Malnutrition: Coordinator advocates multisectoral approach against disease in FCT

A baby gets tested for malnutrition in Thonyor, South Sudan, where years of conflict have inflicted famine on thousands of people

The Nutrition Coordinator said the high rate of malnutrition in FCT behoved government to introduce relevant policy to solve the problem.

The Nutrition Coordinator, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mrs Clementina Okoro, has advocated multi sectoral approach to combat rising cases of malnutrition in the territory.

Okoro gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.

She said the high rate of malnutrition in FCT behoved government to introduce relevant policy that would encourage collaboration with various stakeholders to solve the problem.

The coordinator identified such stakeholders to include civil society groups, development partners and health-related private sectors, including experts on economy and environment.

NAN reports that based on statistics provided by FCT health and human services, the rate of stunting in the territory was at 20.6 per cent; underweight 12.6 per cent, and wasting stood at 13.8 per cent.

Okoro criticised the non-availability of food supplements known as Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) being provided by UNICEF to treat acute malnutrition in children.

She said that UNICEF had, for some time now, stopped the supply of RUTF to FCT.

The coordinator, however, appealed to FCT administration to increase the funding for nutrition, to tackle the high rate of malnutrition in Abuja.

According to her, the high cases of malnutrition are in villages, and among some poor urban residents, as well as those elites with obesity in the city.

Okoro said that her department had designed an alternative measures to produce local micronutrient supplements to help in controlling deficiencies in affected children.

According to her, she has commenced aggressive sensitisation of mothers on the right diets to take with their children.

She noted that government must work for the sustainability of food security policy in the country to tackle hunger in order to address malnutrition. 



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