The Nutrition Society of Nigeria has called for an institutional framework towards tackling malnutrition in Nigeria.
Prof. Hafiz Abubakar, a member of the board of the society, communicated this while speaking with State House correspondents after the board members met with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said that that the board was in the villa to brief the vice president, who was the Chairman of the society, none statutory.
Abubakar said that after the 49th Annual Conference of the society, it felt highly obliged to come to and inform the vice president of the outcome of the conference.
He said the society also came to brief Osinbajo on the issues relating to nutrition governance in the country that were discussed at the conference for his information and for further necessary action.
“One of our plank advice is to get the vice president through the National Council on Nutrition, because there are member ministries—health, education, finance, budget and planning, agriculture, women affairs—are all members of the National Council on Nutrition and also representatives from the forum of governors.
“Let us have, first of all, the clear understanding that we have a nutrition emergency in this country.
“Number two, let us have the institutional framework; by this, I mean we should have departments, divisions that are charged with the responsibility of addressing these issues.
“Third, which is very important, we have our National Action Plan; but like many other things, we are not implementing it.
“Let us review this National Action Plan, implement it, monitor the implementation and see results so that we can measure results.
“It was just yesterday that the National Demographic and Health Survey was launched for 2018; it is the same figures on mal-nutrition in the country that have been reported for 20 years.
“And when you look at our population growth, it means that it has been worsening because our population has been growing; just two months ago, we reached the climax of 200 million,’’ he said.
The professor said that the rate of malnutrition in the country, especially in the North West, was high; hence the need for an urgent action. (NAN)