The Lagos State Committee on Food and Nutrition in conjunction with Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) has domesticated the National Policy on Food and Nutrition.
Speaking at the validation meeting of the Lagos State Specific Plan on Food and Nutrition (SSPFN) and State Multi-Sectorial Plan of Action for Nutrition (SMSPAN), Mr Shola Fadorun, representing the State’s Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economy Planning and Budget, Abayomi Adebisi Kadiri, said the policy is a key health to solving malnutrition challenge in the state.
He said the validated policy will serve as a direction for the execution of programmes and projects that will address nutrition matters in Lagos.
Kadiri said the main objective of the validation exercise is to confirm the data referred to in the document, adding that the exercise will address the cross cutting issues among the lines Ministry, Departments and Agencies, (MDAs).
Giving further insights, he said that the domesticated policy document is accompanied with strategic five-year work plan that will be used as a guide in the execution of Food and Nutrition programmes in the State by harnessing available resources from Government budgets, as well as from development partners to support a harmonized, strategic work plan for effective implementation.
He said malnutrition is widespread in the entire country, although the scale and scope varies between regions and states, adding that it manifests mainly as under nutrition, over nutrition and micronutrient deficiencies.
According to the permanent secretary, “reducing malnutrition is an important goal of development, since malnutrition not only slows down development, it directly leads to morbidity and mortality.
A member of the Board of Trustees, CS-SUNN, Dr. Phillipa Momah, said the vision of the organization as well as its mission is to mobilize facilities and scale up nutrition across board in the country.
Making his presentation, the project manager of CS-SUNN, Mr Sunday Okoronkwo said “every single day, Nigeria loses about 2,300 under five years and 145 women of child bearing age. This makes the country the second largest contributor to the under-five and maternity mortality rate and the cause is malnutrition.”
Okoronkwo added that those children who survive malnutrition often become stunted. Stunting is the major indicator used to measure childhood malnutrition. Malnutrition comes in different form.
CS-SUNN’s Project Manager said that some of the causes are interconnected and the fight against malnutrition is a fight for all, hence all need to invest to prevent under nutrition, build human capital, boost shared prosperity and improve health outcomes.