More funding should be set aside and released to address nutrition challenges, according to CS-SUNN

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Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), an advocacy group for better nutrition in Nigeria, has demanded increased funding for nutrition-related projects in the state of Enugu.

Concerned about the past years’ non-release of budget allocations for nutrition-related issues, the panel issued the recommendation.

Mr. Finian Ali, coordinator of CS-SUNN in Enugu State, addressed journalists during a media roundtable in Enugu on Thursday and urged all parties involved to give nutrition concerns the attention they deserve.

He said that there are several reasons why nutrition-related illnesses and malnutrition continue to be a problem in Nigeria’s public health system.

“Stunting, in particular, linked to adverse outcomes such as poor brain and cognitive development, a loss of 2-3 years of schooling, poor school performance and diminished productivity in adulthood,” Ali continued, “malnutrition is a formidable cause of death.”

According to the coordinator, there is concerning data from the National Food Consumption and Micronutrient Survey (NFCMS) that was carried out in 2021. The results showed that almost one-third of Nigerian children under the age of five are stunted, while nearly one-fourth are wasted, and a staggering sixty-two percent are anaemic.

Out of all children under the age of five in Enugu state, 14.8% are stunted, 6.1% are underweight, and 2.5% are wasted, according to the 2018 NDHS.

“According to these numbers, more than 24,000 children in Enugu State were considered wasted and more than 159,000 were considered stunted.”

Moreover, he announced that “CS-SUNN is implementing the ‘Increased Investment in Nutrition to Scale-Up Quality Nutrition Services’ in Enugu State, a fruitful collaboration between UNICEF and CS-SUNN, aimed at realising a vision of a Nigeria where every citizen has access to food and nutrition security.” This initiative is in reaction to these urgent challenges.

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The next step, according to CS-SUNN, is to raise funding for nutrition programs in Enugu State and the federal government from $2 million to $3 million by October 2024.

“Enugu State maternity leave should be increased from four months to six months in order to protect mothers and their ability to breastfeed exclusively;”

Issues pertaining to nutrition in Nigeria should receive more attention and publicity from the media.

“We sincerely believe that the private sector can play a crucial role in assisting with the implementation of policies by producing affordable, nourishing supplemental foods, strengthening staple foods at home, and establishing daycare centers for working families;”

“NGO’s and CSOs should push for nutrition programs that help mothers and children, encourage ongoing nutrition education in the community, and push for the adoption of

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