Micronutrient Deficiency: NGO Tasks Media on Enlightenment Campaign
By Habila Victor, Kaduna
The Media has been charged with the responsibility to intensify an enlightenment campaigns to educate the general public on micronutrient deficiency (MND) affecting the Nigeria society.
A coalition of non govermental organisations known as Civil Society- Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) made this call while addressing Newsmen in a press conference held at Hajja Aisa hall of Bafra Hotel, Kaduna.
They said the media needs to step up reportage on issues around micronutrient deficiency to attract policymakers and concerned stakeholders to take the right steps towards curbing malnutrition in Nigeria, especially Kaduna state.
CS-SUNN described MND as a hidden hunger which is a pure manifestation of malnutrition caused by lack of essential vitamins and minerals, saying it is a major public health problem that is becoming a threat to the Nigerian Society.
Its believed that children of six to fifty nine months of age, pregnant and non-pregnant women are mostly affected. According to WHO reports, 71% of children aged 6 -59 months and 58% of pregnant women in Nigeria has anemia as of 2011.
To ensure good nutritious meal, the general public are advised to eat yellow maize, orange fleshed sweet potato and its vegetables.
The NGOs further commended Governor Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai for approving six months meternity leave to female workers of the Kaduna State Government which they sa will help the mother to give her child an exclusive breastfeeding.
Some of the key note speakers at the conference includes; Dr. John Uruakpa reprenting Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs Jessica Bartholemew, a CS-SUNN advocate and a representative of Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
Journalist from different media organisations within and outside Kaduna axis were present. Some among others are NTA, AIT, FRCN, KSMC, New Nigerian Newspaper, The sun, Peoples Daily, Kaduna open radio, among others.