A Nutrition Expert with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Dr. Bamidele Omotola, has revealed that at least 35 million under-five children suffer from malnutrition in Nigeria.
Omotola said the various forms of malnutrition affects mostly children in North-East states, especially Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, due to insurgency.
He further explained that 25 million under-five children are “wasted” due to malnutrition, while additional 10 million children suffer from stunting.
Omotola who disclosed this at a two-day media dialogue on Malnutrition on Friday in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, said these children might die if no urgent steps are taken to revive them through appropriate and urgent interventions.
The expert said: “Boko Haram is a ‘major driver’ of malnutrition crisis in the region, as the militancy has led to high food insecurity and the the spread of endemic diseases.
“It has also caused low convergence of programs targeting children with moderate acute malnutrition, limited dietary diversity, loss of livelihoods and disruption of access to quality water and optimal sanitation.
“It is necessary that awareness should be created among Nigerian populace especially for mothers. Adequate attention should be given to the nutrition of women, especially the pregnant, to reduce severe and acute malnutrition.”