Some Nutritionists on Wednesday urged Nigerians to eat nutritious food to boost their immune system against coronavirus infection.

They made the call during an on-line training for journalists titled “A National COVID-19 Nutrition Communication Campaign” organized by the Nutrition Society of Nigeria in collaboration with Development Communications Network. The training, which attracted 110 participants from across the country, was aimed at training participants on reporting the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and other related issues.

Speaking during the session, Mrs Beatrice Eluaka, Executive Secretary, Civil Society -Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria advised Nigerians to eat adequate diet inclusive of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, water and minerals to boost their immune system against COVID-19 infection. According to Eluaka, medical experts have said that individuals with strong immune systems stand better chance of surviving the virus if contracted.

“People should eat food with locally sourced vegetables and proteins to boost their immune system. “You must not be rich to eat nutritious food as you can source cheap nutritious food within your environment,” she said.

She disclosed that emerging evidence suggests that people with pre-existing, diet-related conditions such as severe obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, are suffering more serious consequences from COVID-19, including more severe illnesses hence a greater need for intensive health care.

Eluaka charged the media to go beyond reporting COVID-19 as a science issue as it is now a developmental issue affecting various sectors of countries. She further discouraged misinformation and reporting stigmatization and fake news around COVID-19 issues.

On his part, Dr Auwulu Kawu, Alive and Thrive’s Strategic Behavioral Change Communication Advisor, said the lockdown imposed by government to curb the spread of COVID-19 had affected the purchasing power of people. He added that the economic hardship occasioned by the lockdown had impacted adversely on the quality of the peoples’ diet.

Kawu also pointed out that the social media has also contributed negatively in misleading the public on issues of nutrition. Everybody would be posing as a nutritionist in the social media, advising people on what to eat or not to eat,” He said.

He called on journalists to focus more attention on nutrition related reports to correct some of the misinformation in the social media.


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