The Federal Ministry of Health (FMH) has attributed over 50 per cent of Nigeria’s infant and under-five mortality to malnutrition.
Speaking at a forum in Abuja, the Head of Nutrition at the FMC, Mr Chris Isokpunwu, believes that addressing malnutrition will reduce the rate of infant mortality in Nigeria.
“Malnutrition accounts for 53 per cent of under-five mortality in the country. A country where 2,300 children die daily, malnutrition would account therefore for more than 1,200 of such deaths.
“For us to address the high infant and child mortality rate in Nigeria, we need to address the issue of malnutrition,” he advised.
A representative of UNICEF at the forum, Zack Fusheini, urged government to increase funding, saying it would help to improve the health and nutrition of children.
“I want to urge the government to continue to invest in nutrition, not just putting in money but providing adequate amount of resources to be able to implement the strategy,” he said.
Experts at the forum said Nigeria is a major contributor to the global infant and under-five mortality, which the World Health Organisation said hit 5.9 million in 2015.
They, however, noted that addressing malnutrition among pregnant women and infants was one major step towards reversing the ugly trend.