Posted by News Express | 23 August 2013 | 4,905 times
The Benue State Government has launched a war against malnutrition, infant mortality and other health challenges common to women and children. It is collaborating with Bio-Organics Nutrient Systems Limited, a foremost supplier of vitamins and minerals premixes to the food and beverage industry in Nigeria, to purchase and distribute its food fortification product Enrich to families in the state.
Benue State Commissioner for Health, Hon (Dr.) Orduen Abunku, made this known during a meeting held with the management of Bio-Organics Nutrient System Limited, makers of Enrich. The meeting was part of a courtesy visit of the Commissioner to the Ogun State headquarters of the company.
Hon. (Dr). Abunku during the meeting said Benue State has formally established partnership with Bio-Organics Nutrient Systems Limited in order to tackle the scourge of malnutrition, as well as reduce child and maternal mortality in the state. He explained that the partnership became necessary because the state government “realised that malnutrition is a problem for Benue State and Nigeria in general,” adding that “malnutrition causes the death of many children that would otherwise survive malaria, diarrhoea or pneumonia, just because they are malnourished. So by preventing malnutrition, we are preventing the deaths of children and pregnant women in particular.”
The food fortification product has the seal of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and is based on a UNICEF-approved formulation.
Enrich, a food supplement, which comes in sachets, is a single serve free-flowing blend of essential vitamins and minerals that enhances child health, cognitive function and reduces mortality in children as well as in women. It supplements low nutrients contents of most food and staple foods. The tasteless powder can be sprinkled in any type of food.
Certified by the National Agency for Foods, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Enrich is needed by children of all ages especially those in their formative years between 6months to 59 months. However, it is also useful for other members of the family.
The Commissioner also said the decision of Benue State government to patronise an indigenous manufacturer was a priority and policy that support growth and development of science and healthcare technology in Nigeria.
Chief Executive Officer of Bio-Organics Nutrient Systems Limited, Dr Kenny Acholonu, appreciated the visit of the commissioner to the company saying, “We believe the partnership will go a long way for Benue State. In addition, we commend the state for taking the initiative and step to come and collaborate with an indigenous company.
“Benue State has taken the lead to tell all other states that this is the way to go, come and partner with an indigenous company that is creating employment and addressing high productivity through adequate nutrition,” he said.
Hon. Abunku, who was accompanied by Benue State Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Inter-Governmental Affairs and Special Duties, Hon. Terkaa Mamwoo, toured the facility of Bio-Organics Nutrient Systems Limited. The commissioner remarked that Benue State would impact the lives of the people especially women and children through the product. On his part, the CEO of Bio-Organics Nutrient Systems Limited, Dr Acholonu praised Benue state for its responsive and people-oriented programmes. He said: “This is a strong indication that Benue State Government is ready to tackle the challenge. It has to start with Bio-Organics and it has to start with the support of Benue State in addressing the issue of infant and maternal mortality in Benue now and in Nigeria in general.”
Established in 1987, Bio-Organics Nutrients System Limited started operations in 1991. It produces nutrients solutions for companies that manufacture foods and beverages in Nigeria. It has won awards including recognitions from national and international organisations such as Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), National Agency for Foods Administration and Control (NAFDAC), United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) among others.
The company said for a start, it aims to impact a minimum of 1million women and children in Benue state with Enrich micronutrients food powder. Food and beverages fortified with vitamins and minerals go a long way to eradicate the hidden micronutrients deficiencies and help improve the mental and physical development of children and adolescents.
According to WHO, more than two billion people all over the world today are estimated to be deficient of key vitamins and mineral, particularly vitamin A, iron and zinc. The 2012 report of WHO also indicated that an estimated 250 million children globally suffer vitamin A deficiency. Moreover, malnutrition contributes to half of death of children under-5 years in Nigeria.
•Photo (L-R): CEO Bio-Organics Ltd, Dr. Kenny Acholonu; Benue State Commissioner for Health, Hon. Orduen Abunku; Marketing Director Bio-Organics Ltd, Mr. Ola Oloke and Snr S.A. to Benue State Gov., Hon. Terkaa Mamwoo (KSM), during the presentation of Enrich micronutrients food powder to the commissioner.
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