Malnutrition responsible for 53 percent of Nigeria’s infant mortality – Emir of Kano
His Highness, The Emir of Kano, Mallam Muhammadu Sanusi II, says malnutrition is responsible for 53 percent of infant mortality in Nigeria, with Nigeria recording the highest number of stunted children in Africa. He disclosed this in a presentation to the National Economic Council (NEC) chaired by Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo at its meeting recently in Abuja.
The Emir of Kano who chairs the Nutrition Awareness Sub-Committee of the National Council on Nutrition (NCN) led sub-committee members comprising Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Department For International Development (DFID), Federal Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, World Health Organization (WHO) among others to the NEC meeting where he made a presentation on behalf of the NCN titled “Malnutrition in Nigeria: A Call for Action.
He said the aim of the presentation was to draw the attention of the Governors to the emergency situation Nigeria is facing on nutrition. The Emir of Kano, who is also Chairman, Board of Trustees, Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN) told the NEC that achieving the nutrition target of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) will add 29 billion dollars to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which will translate to 2 billion dollars annually and 10 billion dollars by 2030.
According to him, members of NEC have committed to prioritizing the problem in their budgets and in their policies. “The governors recognized the seriousness of these problems; many of them have seen the numbers; they are alarming,’’ he said.
The sub-committee urged the Governors to prioritize investment in Nutrition by funding Nutrition programmes across relevant MDAs in their various States, establishing National Nutrition Agency under the Presidency, and State level agency under the Governor. They further called for access to basic infrastructure including safe water and sanitation, energy, transport, and communication.