The International Society for Media in Public Health (ISMPH) has identified malnutrition as one of the leading reasons why many of the nation’s children die from preventable diseases.
The executive director of ISMPH, Mrs. Moji Makanjuola, made this assertion at the dissemination of the outcome/findings of the project “Empowerment of Women and Prevention of Severe Acute Malnutrition in FCT Communities: Kwali and Bwari Area Council the FCT” in Abuja.
Recall that the ISMPH, with support from the European Union ACT Programme through the British Council, had a public presentation of the findings and outcome of its project.
In her remarks, Makanjuola said that the project, among other objectives, seeks to prevent severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in the FCT through economic empowerment, improved nutritional knowledge and access to information on severe acute malnutrition (SAM).
The ISMPH boss said that the progress has saved children aged five and under, even though treatable diseases and poor conditions still contribute to deaths per day in the FCT.
She said that thousands of babies still die daily from preventable causes – and pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria and malnutrition kill millions of under-fives across the country.
According to her, nurturing care includes access to health care, clean water and sanitation – starting with ante- and postnatal visits for pregnant women, skilled birth attendants and vaccinations.
Similarly, the national president, National Council for Women Societies (NCWS), Hajiya Lami Adamu Lau said while newborns were at the greatest risk, infants who survived ‘toddlerhood’ were then at risk from malnutrition, diarrhoea and other treatable diseases.
“Vaccinations, better sanitation and clean water – things the will takes for granted would all save lives.
“Pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria accounted for almost one-third of deaths among under-fives globally,” she said.
In his remarks, the chairman, technical management committee of the Association for the Advancement of Family Planning (AAFP), Dr. Ejike Oji said that the country has allowed her population to grow beyond what she can manage.
Oji said that the country has more children than it can take care of, stressing that the nation is experiencing demographic crises.
He said that improving the quality of antenatal care, care at the time of childbirth, and postnatal care for mothers and their newborns were all essential to prevent under-five deaths in the country.
The European Union ACT Programme, focal person, Ms. Seyi Tetteh said that the cases of SAM in children were often managed through treatment. However, there is the community-based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) programme which adopts an innovative and cost-effective way of treating malnourished children in Nigeria.
Following this, Tetteh said it has become imperative to prevent a further stream of children from entering the SAM-affected bracket across the country.
She said that the rising insecurity, farmer-herder and internal communal clashes and the attendant loss of livelihood and displacement within states bordering the FCT, have seen mass influx into the satellite, suburban and rural communities on the outskirts of the country’s capital.