Malnutrition among Nigeria’s children is considered a very serious problem in the country as statistics show that each year about one million Nigerian children die before their fifth birthday. In this report Health correspondent Rabi Abdallah takes a look at the extent of the problems in the country.
Prevalence of child malnutrition is the percentage of children under age 5 whose weight for age is more than two standard deviations below the median for the international reference population ages 0-59 months. The data are based on the WHO’s new child growth standards.
Thus, imagining malnutrition is one thing, but beholding a malnourished child is another. Anyone who has visited any of the 216 Community-Based Management of Acute Malnutrition, (CMAM), sites set up by UNICEF in the seven Sahelian States Gombe, Jigawa, Borno and Yobe, Adamawa, Bauchi and Kano may not forget in a hurry, the sight of the unfortunate Nigerian children affected by Severe Acute Malnutrition.
The first 1,000 days of a child from pregnancy to 24 months after delivery have been identified as the period which presents a unique opportunity to prepare the child for whatever it would become later in life.