Stunted Growth
Stunted Growth

Children: FG To Stamp Out Stunting By 2030

As the government redoubles its efforts on concrete interventions to achieve Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria, one of its responsibilities has been to guarantee the eradication of stunting and other morbidities among Nigerian children by 2030.

In his remarks during the Dissemination Meeting On The Context, Findings and Implications of the Nigeria Global Exemplars in Stunting Reduction and Countdown to 2030 Country Case Studies, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora stated the government is aware of the under-5 data in the 2018 National Demographic Health Survey. Dr. Mamora said that although some achievements have been made in the past, there is, however, a huge room for improvement.

Dr. Mamora stated that over the past decade with data gained from NDHS between 2008 and 2018, the under-5 mortality rate has decreased from 157 to 132 deaths per 1,000 live births, with slight reduction in infant mortality from 75 to 67 deaths per 1,000 live births. According to him, “However, there has been no noticeable change in the neonatal mortality rate over the same period which increased to 38 from 37 deaths per 1000 live births. Nigeria made about 7-point drop-in stunting rate from 43.1% in 1990 to 37% in 2018. Going by our resolve to leave no one behind, this rate is definitely not acceptable”.

Dr. Mamora expressed gratitude to the research team at the University of Ibadan and the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health in Toronto, Canada, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Nigeria Country Office, the Exemplars in Global Health program, the Countdown to 2030 Nigeria Collaboration Team and the Family Health department of Federal Ministry of Health.

“I will urge us to be bold and let our conscience lead. Every morbidity, every mortality, every ugly change in Nutritional status that is reported may appear to us as mere data, but to the families concerned, it is a rude termination of their joy and expectations and some may never recover from it. As stakeholders in the health sector, a huge responsibility is laid on us to see that even as we “count” the data towards 2030, we make the experience worthwhile by really making the data “count.”

The Director of Family Health, Dr. Salma Anas said, Nigeria is not actually lacking too much when it comes to stunting activities or when it come because of the political will demonstrated for supporting the Nutritional drive. Dr. Anas who was represented by the Director of Gender, Adolescent, School Health and Elderly Division, Dr. John Ovuoraye also said not that Nigeria is completely exempted by stunting but there’s political will on the part of government of Nigeria to be part of the study to find questions and answers on why Nigeria is not doing well in some areas.

The Lead Researcher and Professor of Paediatric and Child Health at the University of Ibadan in Oyo State, Prof. Adebola Orimadegun, said the main interest of the research is to see how Nigeria achieve reduction in the prevalence of stunting. Prof. Orimadegun further stated that overall, the National level of stunting reduction is not encouraging which he termed moderate when compared with the same countries of same Gross National Product level.

“This reduction varies significantly across different states across Nigeria and it will appear as if the whole of Nigeria has achieved lesser reduction in the prevalence of stunting when compared the states in the South”.