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9.8 million People in FCT, 16 States Malnourished, says CS-SUNN

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Maureen Okpe

The Civil Society -Scaling up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Chapter, has stated that 9.8million people in the Nation’s Capital and 16 other states have been recorded to be malnourished and as such actions need to be taken to bring this huge number to a drastic reduction.

This statement was made on Saturday by the FCT Coordinator, Ms. Ngozika Ogbonna, in Jikwoyi Abuja, during the celebration of ‘FCT Food Day’-held every 14th day of the month- stating it as reported by the Food and Agriculture Organization.

This outreach according to Ogbonna is “aimed at providing proper nutrition education to women and children on how to use locally available ingredients to cook nutritious food for their families.

“Also to administer some commodities like Albendazole for deworming, Vitamin A to children from 6 to 59 months and also mosquito nets to protect both mother (especially the pregnant mothers), children and even the entire family from mosquito bites and malaria,” she said.

Other commodities distributed at the outreach include; water guard for the purification of water and pre-natal vitamins for pregnant mothers.

“We intend to reach a whole other communities in the FCT and because we have to start somewhere, we started here. Jikwoyi Community was also chosen for today because we have had other intervention programmes here and we identified that there is need for nutritional education here, hence the visit to this community; gradually we will reach out to other communities in the FCT.

“After this practice we would work together with the Primary Health Centre in Jikwoyi to follow up on the results and receive feed back on how impactful the training has been and if the nutritional level of women and children in the benefitting community has increased or is decreasing as there should be changes in their nutritional levels to reflect the learnings from the activity of today,” she added.

In the same vein, Deputy Director, Nutritionist/Dietitian, State Nutrition Officer of FCT Primary Health Care Board, Ms. Clementina Okoro, represented by Nutrition Officer, Mr. Bello Gafar, stated that the outreach is done to celebrate FCT Food Day. As such, she said, the sensitisation in different Communities to enlighten the people about various nutritional values of food they should eat for a healthy life.

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“This became necessary as we at the primary health care have noticed that people do not eat balanced diet, and mostly in Nigeria today, we eat more of carbohydrate food which is not supposed to be.

“our meal should include more of other nutrients like vegetable, protein, vitamins and others to enable us have a nutritious and balanced meal because if we do include all these in our meal it will improve our health immensely.”

Also the District Head of Jikwoyi Community, Hakimi Nicodemus Mathew expressed gratitude to the organisers stating how beneficial the activity is to the people in his community; adding that, ‘health is wealth’ and as such should be properly managed.

He further stated that “we feel a sense of belonging as this is happening in our community; it shows that we are acknowledged and this is a good thing.

“We have been expecting this, as anything that will be good to the people will be made to reach the exact persons who are in need of these services and I am happy that this is happening because it will go a long way to improve diet and nutritional level of the people of this community.

He went on to encourage the people to not only learn but also practice and always embrace and partake in this kind of exercise as this will endear other activities because of their considerable turnout.

Miracle Habila a first time mother was happy to be a participant in the outreach as this according to her “is a good and welcome development as not everyone here have the understanding that we can have many ingredients in one dish to make it rich and this ingredients do not have to be expensive as they are common things found in our environment,” she said.

The highlight of the event include food demonstration, nutrition education for mothers and children, nutrition assessment for children under 5 and deworming.

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