Enugu has 152,243 stunted children: UNICEF
UNICEF declared in Enugu on Friday that 152,243 children below five years of age are stunted in the state.
Planning and Monitoring Specialist, Enugu Field Office, Maureen Zubie-Okolo, made the declaration at a policy dialogue with the state Executive and Legislative Councils on Investment in Nutrition.
Ms Zubie-Okolo attributed the situation to poor nutrition arising from poor maternal, infant and young child feeding practices during the first 1,000 days of birth.
“In Enugu State, only 7.8 per cent of children below five years of age receive the minimum acceptable diet, while less than one-fifth of children 0-5 months are exclusively breastfed.
“This is a call for both the executive and legislative arms to come together to ensure that nutrition is placed on government’s agenda,” she said.
Ms Zubie-Okolo said that malnutrition had become a silent emergency which, unfortunately, was receiving far too little attention.
She said that the meeting was in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda of ending all forms of malnutrition by the year 2030.
Ms Zubie-Okolo said the goals also included achieving the internationally-agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children below five years of age by 2025.
She added that nutrition had received perennially low attention in Nigeria and in Enugu State and had, therefore, contributed to the high global malnutrition rates.
She observed that investment in scaling-up nutrition would yield immediate returns, save lives, and enable children and their mothers to have a better future.
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