18 percent of Anambra children under age 5 malnourished: Nutrition Society

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 18 June 2016 | 2,009 times

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A Non Government Organisation (NGO), Nigerian Civil Society Scale-up Nutrition, Anambra State chapter, has said that 18 percent of children in the state under the age of five suffer from malnutrition-based stunted growth.

Speaking Thursday at a press conference in Awka, the Local Working Group Coordinator of the NGO, Dr. Moses Ohamaeme, said survey conducted in the South east region by the organisation showed that Anambra State is worst hit in child malnutrition.

He maintained that malnutrition is severe among children with low milk consumption as well as those whose mothers had limited knowledge of its impact saying that malnourished babies have a higher risk of dying at infancy and are more likely to face life-long cognitive challenges which will eventually lead to poor school performance and chronic health problems.

Ohamaeme explained that malnutrition in children usually manifest in form of wasting (low weight for height), stunting (low height for age) and underweight (low weight for age).

He wondered why this should be so in a state like Anambra which is well known for its abundant human and material resources.

In his words; “It is pertinent to state that malnutrition and its related diseases are still an issue in public health in Anambra State. The state also has the lowest median of Exclusive Breast Feeding (EBF) in the zone.

“Even though EBF in the first six months is proven to be effective in preventing children from malnutrition, the practice is still very low in Anambra State.”

He however, called on the state government to create nutrition budget lines in the state ministries of Health, Education, Economic Planning, Agriculture, Primary Health Care Development Agency as well as local governments and the state House of Assembly to similarly ensure inclusiveness of funding for Maternal Child and Adolescent Nutrition Centre.

•Photo shows Anambra Governor Willie Obiano.

Source: News Express

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