Saraki Seeks Support To End Malnutrition In North-East

Bukola-Saraki-on-BudgetNigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, is calling for more support from Nigerians and members of the international community to tackle the issue of child malnutrition in internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps in the northeast.

The Senate President made the appeal during a meeting with representatives of 32 IDPs’ camps located in the Federal Capital Territory.

He said that the Senate is ready to ensure that resources meant for the IDPs get to the intended beneficiaries rather than being diverted for selfish purposes.

He also assured those gathered that the adhoc committee recently constituted by the Senate on the diversion of funds and aids meant for IDPs would not stop at identifying the problems but would also outline solutions going forward.

Diversion Of Funds

Just a week earlier, the Nigerian Senate launched an investigation into the utilisation of funds allocated to the Presidential Initiative on North East.

The lawmakers, who said the probe was to ameliorate the conditions of the IDPs affected by the insurgency, constituted an ad-hoc committee at their first legislative proceedings for the week.

They expressed concern that funds appropriated to the committee for the displaced persons have been allegedly used to take care of other interests.

The legislators also resolved to investigate the purported diversion of grains and other food items from the strategic grains reserve, the National Emergency Management Agency and other sources for the IDPs.

They asked the committee to ascertain how much has been released to the committee and how the funds have been utilised from inception till date.

The Senate noted that the displaced persons had fled their homes as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency and were living in camps scattered across the northern part of Nigeria.

They were sad that despite the fact that the insurgency victims lost their loved ones and all their property, they were contending with horrific living conditions in their various camps.

 

Experts Harp On How Exclusive Breastfeeding Prevents Infant Diseases

breastfeeding in childrenHealth experts have raised concerns over the increase in the number of infants vulnerable to infectious diseases due to inadequate breastfeeding.

This emphasis was the focus of an awareness talk held at the Federal Medical Centre in Umuahia, the capital of Abia State, in southeast Nigeria.

According to the Head of Nursing Department in the hospital, Mr Nwanyieze Mba, breastfeeding awareness was apt, as investigation carried out at the antenatal ward showed that the number of malnourished and dehydrated infant had increased from zero per cent to eighty per cent.

A worrisome situation, which he said could be prevented.

In recent times, the need to improve maternal and child health care services has been emphasised.

This is why health experts on maternal and child care, dieticians, health workers amongst others are embarking on awareness programme to stress the need for the protection of the right of the child through healthy and adequate nutrition.

And these include breast milk which serve as a measure against Child malnutrition.

Nursing mothers are therefore advised to exclusively breastfeed their children from the day of the birth to six months 8-12 times a day without adding water or any supplement.

A pediatrician, Dr. Amara Okafor, pointed out that it has been noted that about 37 per cent of mothers were not feeding their babies with breast milk, a trend which must end if Nigerian women wanted a healthy baby and a healthy future.

According to the Head of Nursing Department at Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Nwanyieze Mba, the consequences of not adhering to exclusive breastfeeding were enormous and includes high risk of bacterial contaminations in infants as well as the babies’ immunity being very low and making them vulnerable to diseases.

A healthy baby is a healthy future.

The breastfeeding awareness campaign is thus the key to a sustainable development and the only way to protect the right of the child.

The highlight of the Breastfeeding awareness talk was the presentation of gift items to some well-fed babies whose mothers had adhered strictly to exclusive breastfeeding.

There are evidences that breast milk prevents respiratory tract infection, otitis media, ear infection in children, gastro-intestinal infections and can also help prevent breast cancer in women.