Association calls for public enlightenment on proper nutrition, food preparation and Nutrition.

(NAN) Dr Omowunmi Bakare, the President, Medical Women Association of Nigeria, has called for more public enlightenment in communities on the need for proper nutrition and how to prepare foods.

She made the call at a workshop organised by Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), an NGO, in Lagos on Thursday.

Bakare said the call became necessary because malnutrition remained a challenge in the country in spite of efforts to scale it up.

She added that “a workshop such as this, which has `Strengthening Accountability for Maternal, Child and Adolescent Nutrition’ is necessary.”

She explained that more workshops should be organised at the state and local government area levels.

“We still find that many children are under nourished and are not growing well for their age.

“Statistics have shown that children are not doing well; in Lagos State, we are talking about 17 per cent undernourished children.”

According to her, government should initiate programmes targetting adequate nutrition for the growth of children.

“We need to engage communities; including their leaders, on what they should eat and how to prepare their foods.

“People need information on how to eat well. It is very important, “she said.

The Network Coordinator, CS-SUNN, Dr Phippa Momah, urged the Federal Government to implement the National Strategic Plan for Action for Nutrition (NSPAN) to improve the nutritional status of mothers and children.

Momah said that the document was developed in 2014 with a lifespan from 2014 to 2019.

“This is 2016 and if there is no budget to implement the NSPAN both at the national and state levels, we are going nowhere.

“It is important that under nutrition is prevented so as not to put pressure on our resources.

“We have the resources, manpower and expertise, but we have the numbers for the malnourished, which is sad, ” she said.

She added that Nigerians needed to be educated about the local foods including okra and spinach in order to maximise their health benefits.

“The foods are available in the markets and you do not need to be rich to get them.

“All you need to do is to know more about the foods, their nutritional values and how to prepare them for your health benefits.” (NAN)

Featured as an article on News Agency of Nigeria’s Website May 19th 2016.

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