As Nigeria continues to lose children to various diseases, malnutrition remains one of the major causes of infant mortality in the country; in a bid to curb this trend, the Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS- SUNN) Wednesday engaged a select group media actors from Kano in a workshop on increasing media reportage on nutrition.
According to UNICEF, Nigeria has the second highest number of stunted children in the world, with over 2 million Nigerian children suffering from acute malnutrition.
The CS-SUNN workshop, which is billed to hold quarterly, seeks to engage the media on nutrition at sub- national level, with support from UNICEF, Alive and Thrive (A&T), Save the Children, amongst others. The focal point of the workshop is to increase awareness on nutrition among the media stakeholders and mobilize them to take actions aimed at addressing the malnutrition challenge across the 44 LGAs of the state.
While speaking at the event, Ahmad Tijjani Ya’u of CS-SUNN said media engagement was key in reaching the ‘hard-to-reach’ while also highlighting inadequate funding for nutrition as a major challenge in Kano state. He also decried the inconsistency in release of funds for nutrition and noted that exclusive breastfeeding was a major step in curbing malnutrition among children.
Similarly, Hajiya Zainab Ali, the coordinator of CS-SUNN in the state, said the importance of nutrition couldn’t be overemphasized. “There is a communication gap between the media and the public on the issue of nutrition. We organized this event as a way to bridge the gap and ensure that the public engage in proper nutrition and most importantly, breastfeeding,” she added.
It is worthy of note that states in northern Nigeria are the most affected by the two forms of malnutrition, namely wasting and stunting, which increases children’s risk of death and poor brain development, which leads to a low educational performance in children as well as a low level of productivity in adulthood.
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