How Niger govt encourages malnutrition among children, by group

By Ummi Ismaeel,

Minna

A non-governmental organisation, Civil Society- Scalingup Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), has called on Niger State government to release funds allocated for eradicating malnutrition in the state.

  The group also pointed out that since the inception of the current administration in the state it was yet to release the money to check malnutrition and  underweight among children. 

The CS-SUNN reminded the state government that it pledged commitments towards addressing malnutrition, stressing, “Data obtained by CS-SUNN’s Trend Analysis of Health and Nutrition Budget in Nigeria 2014-2018 indicates that no money has been released by the state government.”

  The Executive Secretary of CS-SUNN, Mrs. Beatrice Eluaka, disclosed this at the one-day Media engagement on Partnership for Improving Nigeria Nutrition Systems (PINNS), which held at Haske Hotels, Minna.

   She warned that the level of malnutrition in the state was becoming very alarming.

  Eluaka, who expressed the importance of effective media monitoring and reporting of nutrition-related issues, said, “Budget-Trend-Analysis-Infographics showed that Niger state government had budgeted N89, 218, 166 for nutrition in 2017. No releases were made from this allocation”.

  She further said that more children were exposed to mental and physical retardation as the situation remained same in 2018, adding, “Niger State government again budgeted, N137, 746, 250.00 for nutrition but at the moment the money is yet to be released.

  “Non-release of funds to address malnutrition by the state government in the past few years further made the situation worse as available data from the National Nutrition and Health Survey (NNHS 2014 and 2015) indicates marginal rise in the trend and possible consequences.

  “In 2015, stunting rate increased to 38%, wasting rate to 6.1% with underweight reducing slightly to 17.3% but the latest Multiple Cluster Indicator (MICS 2017) shows a slight decrease in the rate of stunting to 37.3%, wasting and underweight increasing to 24.3% and 8.8% respectively”.

The purpose of the Media Engagement on PINNS issues and call to action, according to Beatrice Eluaka, was to among others improve salience of nutrition and policy funding on the agenda of governments, particularly Niger State government.

  While calling on the Governor Abubarkar Sani Bello-led administration to ensure immediate release of the N137.7 million budgeted for nutrition this year, she encouraged journalists to step up reports on nutrition to draw attention of policymakers and relevant stakeholders as a way to curb malnutrition in the state.

News Category: