Kwara Gears Effort to End Malnutrition

The Kwara State Government has reiterated its commitment to eradicating malnutrition in the state by using locally available recipes and empowering local farmers with necessary equipment, while also leveraging partnerships with the federal government to implement food safety policies.

The State Commissioner for Communications, Hon. Bolanle Olukoju, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Alhaji Yahaya Mohammed, stated this today while declaring open a-day press briefing with media representatives and stakeholders across the three senatorial districts on malnutrition, dietary habits, and locally available recipes, the event was organised by the Kwara State Ministry of Communications Food and Nutrition Programme at the Ministry’s Conference Room.

Speaking on the purpose of the briefing, Hon. Olukoju said, “This briefing will feature experts who will highlight the issues of malnutrition and present locally available recipes that can help curb the problem. The briefing will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss and collaborate on strategies to improve dietary habits and nutrition in our communities, while information about what the state government has been doing to eradicate malnutrition will also be shared with you.”

Earlier in his welcome address, the State Director of Information Services, Alhaji AbdulGaniyu Atere, assured the participants that the briefing would be highly informative, as the Facilitators are experts in the focused areas with many years of work experience, urging participants to use the platform to learn, relearn, and unlearn.

Dr. Lawal Habeeb, Project Manager of the Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria project of the Ministry of Health, emphasized that poor dietary can lead to having stunting, a symptom of malnutrition, noting that stunted children cannot achieve their full potential in life, as they will not develop adequate mental capacity which leaves them struggling in school and vocational trainings.

He added that Malnutrition takes various forms, including stunting, wasting, and underweight (low weight for age). According to the Nigeria Demographics and Health Survey, Kwara State’s nutrition indicators highlight the need for urgent action.

Hajia Jemilah Adamu Gene, a nutrition specialist, stressed the importance of combining all five food elements (fruits, vegetables, protein, carbohydrates, and fat) for a balanced diet.

She added that although there is a misconception that rich foods are expensive, but she noted that recipes of rich foods abounds in our various localities  and just requires the right knowledge of them.

She commended the State government’s efforts to raise community awareness and implement nutrition programs through community food demonstrations, nutrition campaigns, young child complementary feeding programs and pregnant women nutrition orientation

Dr. Lawal Habeeb praised Kwara State’s multisectoral approach to tackling malnutrition, including the establishment of a 5-year strategic plan, the first of its kind in Nigeria. This comprehensive plan involves annual reports from all relevant ministries through the State Committee on Nutrition, ensuring a coordinated effort to combat malnutrition.

With this declaration of emergency and the implementation of these strategies, Kwara State is poised to make significant strides in reducing malnutrition and promoting a healthier future for its citizens.

Editor

Ibrahim Sheriff is the Editor of Fresh Insight and former Special Assistant on Media to the Speaker, Kwara state House of Assembly. Although a management science researcher by training, he has over five years experience of practice in Journalism, Public Relations and Communication Strategy. Sheriff holds a Masters Degree in Finance and Bachelors Degree in Banking and Finance from Kwara state University, Malete. He has Certificates in Digital Journalism, Enterprise Creation and Skill Acquisition (ECSA) and Basic Econometrics Data Analysis, as well as Bank of Industry (BoI) Certificate in Business Management. He is also a holder of Diploma in Cooperative Studies from Kwara state Polytechnic, Ilorin.

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