Eradicating malnutrition could increase wages by between 5 and 50% and is a sure way of breaking an inter-generational cycle of poverty in Nigeria, according to Scale Up Nutrition Business Network Nigeria (SBNN), a civil society group.
Speaking in Lagos at a one day symposium organised by Media Centre Against Child Malnutrition (MeCAM), Ms Ify Ibiso of SUN Business Network added that good nutrition can prevent “child deaths by more than one third per year, improve school attainment by at least one year, reduce poverty as well-nourished children are 33% more likely to escape poverty as adults and empower women to be 10% more likely to run their own business.”
She noted that at least 33% of Nigerian children under 5y are stunted, 18% wasted, 2% overweight, while only a paltry 17% of the under-fives are exclusively breastfed.
Ms Ibiso called for improved media awareness and reporting of nutrition, adding that her organisation is always ready to partner with journalists to not only give proper perspective to the topic but also ensure that nutrition is given adequate attention by all relevant stakeholders.
She added: “The media is an important ally in any public health situation and in this case focusing on nutrition. It serves the role of Influencers and Investigators and is a source of correct information as well as an advocate for correct health behaviours; but before the media can take on their roles, they need to understand nutrition, the issues surrounding it, and policy and practices, in order to convey the right information.