The United Nations Children’s Fund has said that prevailing increase in prices of food items was hampering the ongoing fight against malnutrition in Nigeria.
The Fund’s Nutrition Specialist, Doctor Florence Oni, stated this at a Quarterly Review Meeting of Kaduna State Committee on Food and Nutrition with nutrition officers from twenty three local government areas in the state.
Oni said the price hike on the items was eating up household food security and negatively impacting on current fight against malnutrition, the silent child killer in the country, stating that the increase in food prices is evident all over the country.
She described malnutrition as a “national issue affecting all states in the federation’’, and stressed the need for collaborative effort of all government’s department and agencies to stem the scourge. The expert commended Kaduna State Government for the release of funds and other efforts in curbing the challenge in the state saying the efforts were already yielding the desired result.
Also speaking, Prof. Kola Aniyo of Food and Nutrition Unit, Department of Biochemistry, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, said Kaduna state contributed a large percentage of the malnutrition crises in the North-West.
Aniyo commended the state government for its effort through the community management of acute malnutrition in Zaria and other interventions to address the problem.
He identified capacity gap as another challenge impeding the fight against malnutrition in the state, urging that the state should invest in capacity building of its officers handling nutrition issues.
On her part, wife of the state governor, Aisha El-Rufai, noted that malnutrition situation in the state was “alarming, worrisome and unacceptable’ but declared that the state government would do everything possible to salvage the lives of women and children suffering from malnutrition, neglect and lack of basic necessities of life.