Nigeria has 32% stunted kids, ranks second globally – el-Rufa’i


Nigeria has the second highest burden of stunted children under-five in the world, with a national prevalence rate of 32%, the wife of the Kaduna state governor, Hajiya Aisha Ummi Garba el-Rufai, has said.

Aisha, the chairperson of the Kaduna Emergency Nutrition Action Plan (KADENAP), added that estimated two million Nigerian children suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM).

Addressing a Policy Dialogue on Kaduna state Nutrition Policy with the theme: ‘Emerging Opportunities and Innovative Financing Options for Nutrition Interventions and Improved Outcomes in Kaduna state’ on Friday, Hajiya Aisha blamed malnutrition for childhood illnesses, maternal and under five mortality in the state.

“Nigeria has the second highest burden of stunted children in the world, with a national prevalence rate of 32 per cent of children under five. An estimated 2 million children in Nigeria suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM), but only two out of every 10 children affected are currently reached with treatment. Seven percent of women of childbearing age also suffer from acute malnutrition (World Bank, 2021).

“Also, in Kaduna state, NDHS survey shows that 48.1% (856,272) children under five are stunted. With the support of partners, the state has been able to assess the extent of the problem, map out the hotspots, identify key interventions (both specific and sensitive) and estimate the resource requirement to ensure that no child or woman dies or is incapacitated by malnutrition in Kaduna state going forward.

“Today, we have a policy on food and nutrition for the state. This policy is evidence-based, being that it is predicated on the preceding actions and experiences of both the state and non-state actors in the field of practice. It thus, reflects the stance of the state and its partners towards saving the lives of women and children through improved consumption of nutritious food and other healthy practices,” she said.

In her remarks, the executive secretary, Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), Mrs. Beatrice Eluaka, said, “Current investments in nutrition are not comparable to the scale of the malnutrition problem in Kaduna state and Nigeria. The theme also underscores the need for all stakeholders to focus more on nutrition programmes that deliver results.”

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