A young child suffering from the terrible effects of malnutrition.

Malnutrition: 20.5m New Babies Suffer Low Weight – NESG

The chief executive officer of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Laoye Jaiyeola, said about 20.5million new babies in Nigeria had low weight at birth due to nutritional deficiencies.

Jaiyeola said this yesterday when the NESG, in collaboration with eHealth Africa and the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), held a webinar with the title: Developing an Integrated Food Fortification Compliance Framework to Address Micronutrient Deficiencies.”

While delivering the welcome statement, the chief executive officer of the NESG, Jaiyeola said, “Malnutrition deficiencies are of great concern to the NESG, with 20.5million new babies and 14.6 per cent having low weight at birth and one out of five children experiencing stunted growth.”

Read Also: AfDB President Appointed Global Leader in Fight Against Malnutrition

He said that in Nigeria and the rest of sub-Sahara Africa, “micronutrient deficiencies are common among the people due to over-farmed, depleted and nutrient-lacking soils, low nitrogen in most African soils, high soil acidity, infestation of crops by pests and diseases, and the adverse effects of climate change.”

The chief executive officer of the NESG reiterated the need for stakeholders to continually ramp up food fortification to ensure that people don’t just eat but eat well in a way that reduces micronutrient deficiencies.

During the panel session, the senior technical specialist for Quality and Safety, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), David Morgan, said micronutrient deficiency in Nigeria was significant, adding that the national food consumption survey shows “there is a massive burden of waste in children in Nigeria, with vitamin A deficiency and anaemia being more prevalent among children.”

Also speaking, the executive director of CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani, represented by Muritala Muhammed, said poverty was deeply rooted in the country, and irrespective of the quantity of food, if the proper nutrients are not consumed, the problems of malnutrition would persist.

SOURCE: Daily Trust