Covid-19: Aisha Buhari Champions cause against malnourished children
In the face of the coronavirus, Aisha Buhari has added her voice to the fight against Severe Acute Malnutrition’ SAM stating that proper nutrition strengthens immune system among children.
This, the first lady is championing through her Aisha Buhari foundation noting that the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the increasing need for global attention to SAM stressing that malnutrition weakens the immune system thereby increasing susceptibility to diseases and eventual death among vulnerable children under 5 years of age.
In a press statement signed by Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity Aliyu Abdullahi stated that the first lady as the National Nutrition Champion advocates for sustainable intervention because malnutrition is one of the major cause of mortality and underdevelopment among children in Nigeria before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Aisha, the restriction of movement resulted in the shortage of food supply and consequently led to a significant increase in the number of acutely malnourished children requiring urgent attention and collective action.
She stressed that making provisions for this category of children is a step towards upholding their rights to good nutrition and their right to life.
Acknowledging the efforts of the government in the supply of relief materials including food to millions of Nigerians across the country during the pandemic, the first lady called on stakeholders and government at all levels to ensure that food items meant for malnourished children get to them without diversion.
‘‘Community stakeholders, families and caregivers should ensure that food items meant for malnourished children are actually given to the children who need them for their health and well-being.
‘‘Government stakeholders at federal and state levels should commit funds to the prevention and treatment of all forms of malnutrition, ensuring that all policies and services required for treatment of malnutrition including the CMAM centers are supported to function optimally particular in this time.
‘‘Private sector Interventions and donations by well-meaning Nigerians should focus on ensuring that food palliatives factor in the necessary dietary diversification by adding food commodities like millet, groundnut, beans, soya etc. for the prevention of malnutrition and that children currently suffering from any form Malnutrition are supplied with micronutrient powder, action meals and ready to use Therapeutic Food as treatment solutions’’ she stated.
She however stated that with the implementation of these actions the country will be walking in line with United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, SDG.
In taking these actions, we as a county will be protecting children from the scourge of SAM and in the long term, taking steps towards attaining wholistic health of the Nigerian population and in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, SDG to leave no one behind.