Thursday, 28 April 2016

Health Ministry to collaborate with key groups to promote wellbeing of Nigerians

Nigeria's Minister of Health Isaac Folorunso Adewole attends an emergency National Council on Health meeting on the control of Lassa Fever in Abuja, Nigeria January 19, 2016.  REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde - RTX231AG

Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has pledged to collaborate with all health determinates in other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to meet the health needs of Nigeria.

Adewole made the pledge at the opening ceremony of the National Conference on Complementary Feeding Practices for Children of Six to 23 months of age.

Represented by the Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, Adewole described the theme “Complementary feeding for the growth and development of Nigeria’’ as apt.

He said that nutrition was globally prioritised as a development agenda that yields high social and economic returns when invested upon.

Ehanire said that policy making, production of fortified and formulated foods, and their delivery in nutrition education are contributing factors to the prevailing forms of malnutrition, under-nutrition, over-nutrition, obesity and micro-nutrition deficiencies.

He said that 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, complementary feeding is of great concern.

He said that 37 per cent of children aged six to 23 months consumed the minimum dietary diversity with only 15.8 per cent of them in ages six to 11 months.

However, the minister listed efforts at addressing the trend in the country to include:
Ehanire also listed the key elements to SDGs and its link to nutrition as follows:

“End poverty in all forms, End hunger, Achieve food security, Ensure healthy lives, Ensure quality education, Achieve gender equality, Resource empowerment and Revitalise global partnership.’’
He said that at the 2015 UN general assembly, Nigeria joined the global community to transit from 2000 to 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), to 2016 to 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He said that during the summit President Muhammadu Buhari said that “the SDGs have come to complete the unfinished business of the MDGs, and Nigeria is committed to completing this unfinished business and achieving success’’.

He further said that it is hoped that the SDGs, complementary feeding practices in Nigeria can mount on its six delivery platforms, namely: People, Dignity, Planet, Partnership, Justice and Prosperity.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Amina Shamaki, urged stakeholders to keep up with its collaboration, saying it is the only way the Nigerian child could be given a good start in life.
Shamaki, who was represented by the Director, Family Health, Dr Wapada Balami, said that adequate nutrition throughout infancy and early childhood was fundamental to the development of the child to full potential.

She said that the period from conception to two years of a child’s life was most important, 70 per cent of the brain development occurs during pregnancy and 30 per cent within the second year in the child’s life.

She further said that there was need to utilise the deliberations at the conference to develop nationwide culturally acceptable recommendations that can be sustained.