The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC says it will continue to engagd leadership and relevant committees of the National Assembly to ensure improved and sustainable investment on nutrition in the country.
Executive Director CISLAC, Mr. Auwal Ibrahim Musa stated this during a Legislative summit on prevention and treatment of Severe and Acute Malnutrition-SAM, to mark the world food day in Kaduna.
He said the summit held with legislative heads of five Nothern state Assemblies was to create enabling platform for interaction toward proffering holistic solution to malnutrition as well as challenges of inadequate funding for prevention and treatment of SAM.
According to Auwal Ibrahim, the summit also seeks to provide a platform for legislators to understand nutritional situation in their States to enable them make commitment toward ensuring SAM prevention and treatment was recognized and prioritize as human right issue through appropriate legislative intervention.
While stressing the importance of adequate nutrition to nation building, the Executive Director says Nigeria has the highest burden of malnutrition in Africa with 32 percent of children experiencing malnutrition deficit
Auwal Ibrahim explained that policy neglect in the implementation process had remain serious setback to fulfilling government’s commitment at ensuring adequate nutrition status for children in the country.
He identified reduced Gross Domestic Product, irreparable potential loss and increased access to communicable diseases as some of the effects of malnutrition
“The existing ailing and under founded Primary Health Care facilities in the country has hampered effort at archieving adequate and sustainable treatment and prevention of SAM at all levels” he reaffirmed.
Mr. Auwal Ibrahim Musa expressed concern over the dwindling funding for nutrition both at The National and state’s budgetary allocation, saying if not promptly addressed would lead to high child mortality in the country due to severe and acute malnutrition, SAM.
According to him, the 146.14 million naira allocated for the treatment of severe acute malnourished children in the proposed 2021 Budget is grossly inadequate to cater for The millions of children requiring treatment from SAM in the country.
In an overview presentation, CISLAC Program’s officer Murtala Muhammed said the organization was determined to strengthen accountability in utilization of funds for nutrition to ensure children suffering from malnutrition receive treatment and enjoy fundamental rights to Life
In a good will message, speaker Gombe State House Of Assembly alh Abubakar Sadiq Ibrahim commended CISLAC for organizing such a timely event and plegded to Fastract effort to ensure adequate legislation toward addressing the challenges of SAM in the state.
Climax of the legislative summit was presentation by state nutrition officers of the five northern states of Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Gombe and Bauchi on interventions, strategies, challenges and the way forward.