MESSAGE READ BY PROFESSOR NGOZI NNAM, SECRETARY, CS-SUNN BOARD OF TRUSTEES WHILE LAUNCHING THE “LET US DO MORE CAMPAIGN” AT THE CS-SUNN NUTRITION WEBINAR IN COMMEMORATION OF NIGERIA @ 60, ON OCTOBER 1ST, 2020.
“Nutrition Security exists when all people at all times, consume food of sufficient quantity and quality, in terms of variety, diversity, nutrient content and safety to meet their dietary needs and preferences for an active and healthy life coupled with a sanitary environment, adequate health, education and care” (FAO/AGN, March 2012). Achieving nutrition security for all people has become a tall order with the current burden of malnutrition which has remained a great source of concern particularly in developing countries, including Nigeria.
While policies and plans are in place in Nigeria, to address the problem of malnutrition, the plans are generally not fully implemented due to lack of adequate funding. Domestic funding for nutrition has become lean, leading to over-dependence on dwindling donor funding.
Let us do more campaign is an effort to scale up investment in nutrition to improve the nutrition of the vulnerable group particularly infants, children and women.
It is an effort to improve policies, plans, programmes, strategies, and activities that will transform the nutrition landscape of Nigeria. The campaign also aims to highlight the need for citizen’s engagement and promote an inclusive approach to solving the nutrition problem in Nigeria. Malnutrition is a cankerworm spreading across all communities in the country. All sectors in the society should be involved to fight malnutrition and reduce its negative influence on individual and national development.
Let us do more campaign to sensitize critical stakeholders, Government, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Business networks, Professional bodies, Nutrition Champions and Gate Keepers on the need for increased investment in Nutrition. Citizens should add their voices on the design and implementation of nutrition projects in their communities to ensure sustainability. The campaign is calling for increased coordination of nutrition activities amongst stakeholders. Ownership and sustainability of nutrition projects by Government at all levels should be given priority so that gains already made from the projects are not lost.
Let us do more campaign is a wake-up call. @60, Nigeria and Nigerians should take concrete steps at protecting and caring for the vulnerable by ensuring affordable access to health and quality nutrition. More efforts should be made to ensure nutrition and food security.
CS-SUNN therefore, calls on all citizens of Nigeria especially those interested in improving nutrition in Nigeria to join this campaign for us to continuously work with government to improve funding for nutrition activities at all levels, strengthen systems, improve coordination, implement policies, plans and strategies that have been developed in the interest of Nigerians especially the vulnerable groups.
Your Excellency, the Vice President can do more by taking critical steps as the Chairman of the National Council on Nutrition, starting with pushing for the formal approval of the National Multisectoral Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition.
Your Excellency, Mr. President, Legislators, Ministers, Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, and key policy makers can do more by prioritizing nutrition programmes and funding as malnutrition contributes to the root cause of over 50% of childhood killer diseases. If we eradicate malnutrition we may have as well dealt a deadly blow to over 50% of these diseases that contribute to our high mortality rates. Investing in nutrition is not negotiable. One dollar invested in Nutrition yields sixteen dollars in return and creates lifetime benefits for the nation.
God bless CS-SUNN and its members, God bless Professional Associations and Regulatory bodies for all their efforts, God bless Development Partners for all their support all these years, God bless gate keepers and communities’ structures and institutions (religious and traditional leaders), God bless Nigerian Governors forum and other government institutions (Legislature and MDAs at all levels).God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria. #LetUsDoMorefor our people. The time to act is now!!! Thank you.