Written by Ijeoma UKAZU

Nigeria ranks 80 percent in malnutrition status, globally - CISLAC

As the scourge of malnutrition bites hard, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, has observed that malnutrition reduces economic advancement of a nation by at least 8 percent saying Nigeria ranks 80 percent in the global malnutrition status.
At a one day capacity building organised by CISLAC in Lagos for legislative reporters on legislative advocacy in agriculture, nutrition and health in Nigeria, the centre said, "that malnutrition remains the major cause of under five deaths and that children from the poorest economic quartile are the most vulnerable to high level of malnutrition burden."
According to CISLAC, "malnutrition at all level is intensified by rising poverty, failure in governance, institutional weaknesses, existing socio-cultural attitudes, gender inequality, food insecurity, inadequate breast feeding, inadequate access to health services, inappropriate food intake, and diseases.
"So far, various introduced national and international programmes and policies on health have witnessed poor implementation leading to inadequate access to healthcare across the country.
"Delay in the domestication and implementation of the 2014 National Health Act, inadequate budgetary allocation to health sector, over-concentration of healthcare facility in urban areas at the expense of rural counterparts, poor monitoring and lack of judicious utilisation of the existing funds has hampered accountability, and effective provision and distribution of health facilities across the country."
Giving her presentation at the training workshop, Mrs Mope Omotoso of Patra consult, said effective implementation of various programmes and policies on agriculture are confronted by policy inconsistency, poor budgetary allocation, as well as delay in release of funds, corruption, lack of accountability and awareness.
She however added that Nigeria can still move in the right direction if a comprehensive strategic agricultural plan be packaged into a bill which should be signed into law by the National Assembly would serve as a road map instead of changing goal post at every turn.

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