Bayelsa govt harps on good Nutrition for children


By Eunice Nnachi, Yenagoa

The Bayelsa State government, in collaboration with UNICEF yesterday reiterated its commitment to implementing policies and programs geared towards eliminating all forms of malnutrition particularly in children.

The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Akpoebidei Alamieseigha, made this known during a two day State level Committee on Food and Programme Prioritization Meeting with Nutrition Partners and stakeholders, held in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

Represented by his Permanent Secretary, Dr Wisdom Ebiye Sawyer, noted that nutrition is not just the availability of food to nourish the body but the process of engaging in good practices for proper feeding.

He pointed out that malnutrition exists in the state particularly in children hence the need for parents and care givers to give children the right meals for good growth and brain development.

While appreciating the partners particularly UNICEF for their services in the state, he urged them to provide more food supplements to support nutrition in the state.

While delivering a lecture on the need to invest in nutrition, UNICEF Nutrition Expert, Mrs Ada Ezeogwu explained that good diet helps to improve the intelligent and social quotient of children as well as preventing infant mortality.

Mrs Nzeogwu stated that the first 1000 days of any child is the period to lay the foundation for brain and physical development through proper nutrition adding that it is also important for women to breast feed infants within the first hour after birth.

She equally emphasized exclusive breast feeding for the first 6 months and qualitative complementary feeding for children which is beneficial to the health of mothers and their children.

On his part, Bayelsa State Nutrition Officer, Mr Wilson Ebi urged the state government to develop strategies that would sustain the programs of UNICEF and other international agencies to tackle the problem of malnutrition in children.

The meeting was well attended by stakeholders from the Ministry of Women, Children Affairs, Empowerment and Social Development, Ministry of Local government, Ministry of Education, Information Agriculture, Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, NAWOJ and NGOS including the Eunice Nnachi Women Advocacy Foundation, ENWAF.