Acute Malnutrition Still At Alert Level since 2014 in Nigeria

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has stated that despite several interventions by the government to improve nutrition and healthcare delivery in the country, acute malnutrition remained at alert levels of 5-9.9 percent since 2014 till date. It said the prevalence of stunting which stood at 32.0 percent (95 percent CI: 30.7-33.4) remained the largest burden of malnutrition with stagnated rates of above 30 percent since 2014, with many states in the Northwest and Northeast recording prevalence above 40 percent said WHO organization. Despite several interventions by the government to improve nutrition and healthcare delivery in the country, acute malnutrition remained at alert levels of 5-9.9 percent since 2014 till date, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has stated. It said the prevalence of stunting which stood at 32.0 percent (95 percent CI: 30.7-33.4) remained the largest burden of malnutrition with stagnated rates of above 30 percent since 2014, with many states in the Northwest and Northeast recording prevalence above 40 percent- the World Health Organization (WHO) critical levels. The submissions were contained in the 2018 National Nutrition and Health Survey (NNHS) which was released by the statistical agency yesterday. NNHS, which is conducted annually by the NBS in collaboration with the National Population Commission (NPC) and the Federal Ministry of Health, provides up-to-date information on the situation of nutrition and health as well as measures and key indicators that support the country to monitor progress of the Saving One Million Lives (SOML) Program for Result (PforR) initiative and other national and international goals. According to the NBS, the outcome of the latest survey sound a warning to all stakeholders that efforts to invest on nutrition sensitive to geographic location, gender and age of target population should be maintained to reduce acute and chronic malnutrition levels to below five percent and 20 percent respectively as envisaged in the national and international goals. It said: “Improving nutrition in the first 1,000 days window and in adolescent girls is critical to improving the nutrition status of the entire population of Nigeria.” Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, however, urged policy makers and program managers to focus on the outcome of this report and ensure that efforts should be made towards addressing all areas of concern in a concerted and coordinated manner.

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