By : Julie Ekong
Stakeholders in the health sector have called on the Federal Government to make food insecurity a priority and allocate more funds to address the challenges.
There is also the need for immediate implementation of policies on food security to address hunger and encourage national development.
The Country Director, Vitamin Angels, Dr. Francis Ohanyido, made the call at a two – day workshop for media executives on Multiple Micronutrient Supplement, MMS, in pregnancy in Lagos.
Dr Ohanyido who said described nutrition for both mother and child as important said it has become imperative that nutrition should be discussed at every fora to get attention because Nigerians are under- nourished and food insecure.
” We are trying to scale up the implementation of MMS, which is a formulation of multivitamins for pregnant women as identified by the United Nations that should help women who are going into pregnancy to get better value in terms of nutrition for mother and child”.
Dr. Francis Ohanyido, stressed that nutrition was an important aspect of life and it has become imperative that political leaders understood the issues and invest in MMS.
A Pharmaceutical Logistic Specialist, Christian Ugbo, explained that the organisation collaborates with over 1,200 programme partners, including governments, NGOs, academic institutions, and the private sector.
According to Mr Ugbo, the organisation also strengthen, extend, and amplify the work of in-country partners by delivering nutrition resources and services to more than 70 million children under five and pregnant women in 65 countries.
” Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, Uganda who are vulnerable are some of the areas of focus because they are under served and are nutritionally deficicient”.
Mr Ugbo noted that over 3 million people are low on nutrition and it leads to economic disadvantage with impact on family, work and the the society.
Dr Yinka Obanewa, a Multimedia Media Analyst, explained that poor maternal nutrition has deer consequences for women and children, adding that, MMS should be included in antenatal package to address malnutrition in mother and child.
” We focus on improving nutrition because it is proven to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and poor health, and leads to greater economic success for individuals and entire communities”
Dr Obanewa, urged the media to do more by putting issues of nutrition on the front burner to change nutrition illiteracy and by extension change the narrative.
The workshop was put together by Vitamin Angels, a non – government organisation.