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Shettima inaugurates nutrition core working committee

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Vice President Kashim Shettima, on Friday inaugurated the Nutrition Core Working Committee to adopt a strategy to bring down the prevalence of malnutrition in the country.

Shettima, while inaugurating the committee, said it would provide the needed expertise for the work of the Nutrition Council of Nigeria.

“I welcome you to the inauguration of this all important committee that will serve as the intellectual power house that will provide the expertise and technical competence to the National Council on Nutrition.

“As far as I am concerned, you are the people that will draw the roadmap for us. As I have always said, we have no business being poor. We are potentially one of the richest countries in the world but we have so far remained a potential.

“This is why I am very passionate about this committee,” the vice president said.

Shettima, who lamented the unfortunate situation in Nigeria, stated that more needs to be done to ameliorate the situation.

He said with 33 per cent prevalence of chronic malnutrition in this country, accounting for US$2.5 billion annually in losses, only 88 of 100 kids under the age of five in Nigeria can survive.

“And beyond that, a child born in Nigeria has 36 per cent chance of reaching the age of 60.”

Shettima implored the committee to work hard and change Nigeria’s narrative on nutrition.

In an interview with newsmen, Special Adviser to the Vice President on Public Health, Dr Uju Okorocha, said 88 of 100 children are most likely not to be able to get to the age of five as a result of malnutrition.

“We have about 33 per cent of Stunted growth rate in Nigeria which is really high and about 88 out of 100 children are most likely not to be able to get to the age of five as a result of malnutrition.

“And it also caused economic burden of over US$ 2.5 billion and so these are some of the actions that the nutrition core working group will be looking at some changes.

“Like I said, the narrative will make sure we have measurable outcomes that will shift the rate of malnutrition in Nigeria.”

She said that the vice-president had ordered the committee to take proactive and sustainable actions to be able to change narratives in the country.

“A lot of that has to do with coordination across the different Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).”

“So it requires a coordinated and collaborative efforts with Partners, donors as well as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).”

Also, Zouera Youssoufou, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), affirmed that the committee would support the National Council on Nutrition to help drive this agenda in Nigeria.

“The Vice President has given us the marching orders to draw up a worktable plan which is what we will go and do and deliver.

“What we need to do differently is synergise our efforts more, because people are working in different directions – some on prevention and some on agriculture.

“The idea is to put everybody’s efforts together so that we all move in the same direction.” (NAN)

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