End malnutrition: At CS-SUNN advocacy visit to Enugu House of Assembly, Speaker promises to set up committee on nutrition, food security

An Advocacy Group, Civil Society – Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), Tuesday, May 28, took i”End malnutrition” advocacy visit to Enugu State House of Assembly, Nigeria, expressing worry at the high rate of malnourished children in the country, and  seeking support of the Lawmakers to end the ugly trend.

Enugu State Coordinator of  CS-SUNN, Finian Ali, who led the delegation ,said  Nigeria has the highest malnourished children in Africa and second in the world. He regretted that the development was responsible for the stunt growth of over 150,000 children in the state, which he maintained is highly avoidable.

He appealed to the state government to approve a six months maternity leave for nursing mother to enable them breastfeed their babies exclusively.He  noted that the  three months maternity leave is hindering nursing mothers from  exclusive breastfeeding as well as taking care of their babies, disclosing that only 11 out of 100 nursing mothers are exclusively breastfeeding their children in Enugu.

On counterpart fund,  Ali said many states in Nigeria, including the neighbouring Anambra state, was paying the counterpart fund, which has enable them to access more funds to implement nutrition-related policies and programmes in their states.

Pix- CS-SUNN team

He added that the organisation would continue to engage relevant ministries and agencies in Enugu state to ensure that things relating to nutrition are given adequate attention.

Responding, the Speaker, Enugu State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Uche Ugwu, commended CS-SUNN for it’s efforts in the campaign against malnutrition. He promised to set -up a Committee on Nutrition and Food Security to deal with the issue of malnutrition in the state.

He said  the committee would get to the root cause of malnutrition, especially among children, in the state and also ensure that funds budgeted for nutrition are accessed and used judiciously.

According to the Speaker, setting up of the committee followed a directive by the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria that every State Assembly should tackle malnutrition and poor feeding in the country..

He  pointed out that the issue of malnutrition is a serious one, especially when it comes to children, hinting that the growth and development of every child is largely dependent on the quality of food such child eats.

Pix- CS-SUNN team

Ugwu said the House would liaise with the government to see how the state will  pay the #200m counterpart fund to enable it access #400m from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in order to carryout nutrition-related programmes.

He thanked the CS – SUNN for their efforts  to ensuring that things hindering good nutrition are resolved.

Author: Maureen Ikpeama

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