The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) recently raised fresh concerns over the prevalence and effect of malnutrition in the South-west geo-political zone of the country, stating that 22 per cent of children under five years in the zone have stunted growth.
The UNICEF Communication Specialist, Mr. Geoffrey Njoku, gave the figure in an opening remark at a media dialogue organised by the UNICEF for select journalists in some states of the federation, adding that it was erroneous to believe that malnutrition was prevalent only in the North.
Quoting a 2013 survey, Njoku said studies had shown that malnutrition was prevalent among children of the rich people of the South-west under the age of five, saying malnutrition was a national problem and harped finding sharing responsibilities on investing in simple cost interventions.
In the same vein, a nutrition specialist with UNICEF, Mrs Ada Ezeogu, said 195,245 children below five years were stunted in Osun state due to malnutrition .
Urging the state government to pay attention to early child care that would cover children below three years in addition to its school feeding programme in the state, she said 21.8 per-cent of children in Osun were stunted and that the situation may improve if the early child care was included in the school feeding programme.
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