UNICEF: Approximately 2 Million Nigerian Children Face Acute Malnutrition
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has estimated that approximately 2 million children in Nigeria are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
Only two percent of children receive treatment, according to UNICEF. Accordingly, micronutrient powders have been identified as useful supplements to fortify foods where micronutrients are insufficient to promote optimal growth in children or pregnant women.
Nutrition International, in collaboration with Plan International and the FCT Primary healthcare board, has begun a project to educate nutritionists and other health workers on micronutrients and their importance in treating undernutrition in the FCT. In order to treat this, micro nutrient supplements are being introduced to mothers, as supplementary to food given to their children.
The project coordinator, enhancing infant and young children nutrition, Plan International, Mrs Mary Igbopa, who revealed the UNICEF figure, said it is very important for caregivers to be enlightened about micro nutrients supplements and its importance on the health of children.
Bamidele explained that the micro nutrient powder is not for malnourished children, but serves as supplementary to the food given to children. The FCT state nutritionist, Mrs Clementina Okoro, explained the importance of nutrition in the formation of children’s physiology.