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Health Ministry, TechnoServe Explore Collaboration to End Malnutrition

In a move to tackle stunting among under-five children and malnutrition challenges in Africa’s most populous country, the Federal Ministry of Health and TechnoServe is exploring potential collaboration.

Bako Aiyegbusi, director of nutrition, Federal Ministry of Health while receiving a delegation from TechnoServe at the ministry recently stated that inadequate nutrition is the underlying cause of many diseases and the first barrier to immunity.

Aiyegbusi noted that without adequate nutritious food, the population, particularly the vulnerable groups – under five children cannot grow and develop their optimal cognitive abilities, thereby leading to stunting.

She noted that a system or strategy that looks at ways of strengthening nutrition security for the populace requires transdisciplinary support and collaboration.

Owing to this, she said the Ministry of Health will find ways to collaboration with TechnoServe not just through the Micro Fortification Index (MFI) but through other programmes highlighted by the country director of the organisation.

“We can identify intercepts that align with the Department of Nutrition in the Ministry of Health,” she added.

Aiyegbusi appreciated the TechnoServe team for the visit, noting that it would mark the beginning of a valuable partnership, providing an opportunity for the organisation to learn from the Ministry’s experiences, particularly within the nutrition landscape.

Adesuwa Akinboro, TechnoServe Nigeria’s country director, who led the delegation to the ministry, shared an overview of her organisation’s mission, impact, and presence in Nigeria.

She introduced their goal of improving nutrition in the country by tackling malnutrition challenges through large-scale food fortification.

The country director highlighted the food fortification efforts through the Inspiring Good Nutrition Initiative Through Enterprise (IGNITE) program, under the aegis of the Millers for Nutrition coalition, currently active in eight countries (including Nigeria) with a focus on reaching more people with fortified foods by putting millers of staple foods, such as rice, wheat flour, and edible oil at the center of economic development.