Two Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), the Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) and Development Communications Network (DEVCOMS) have tasked government and donor agencies to shift from curative malnutrition measures to preventive measures.
The NGOs gave the advice at media training on the role of journalists in ensuring transparency and accountability in allocation and use of health/nutrition funds on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to NAN, Mr. Sunday Okoronkwo, the Programmed Manager, CS-SUNN, decried the nation’s malnutrition burden, blaming it on the approach adopted by both governments and donor agencies, among others.
Okoronkwo further said that most of the interventions are geared towards treatment rather than preventive measures.
“There has to be a drastic shift from curative measures to preventive because it is more cost-effective to prevent children from getting malnourished than treating malnutrition.
“In contrast, N1.2 billion was allocated for Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), a curative measure, while N30 million was allocated for Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF), a preventive measure, in 2017.
“This is a typical example of mis-direction,’’ the programme manager said.
He urged the government and private sector to provide enabling environment for working mothers to exclusively breastfeed their babies in the first six months of life.
The CS-SUNN programme manager urged government to scale up investment on IYCF rather than RUTF.
According to him, attention of both governments, donor agencies and families, among others, must be channeled toward the first 1,000 days of a child’s life from the pregnancy till the child’s second birthday.
“Right interventions are an essential building block for health and well-being of a child, especially from pregnancy to the child’s second birthday.
“A child that is already stunted (too short for their age is stunted for life)
Source: NAN|COMPATRIOT MAGAZINE