The Bayelsa state government, in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, says the era of child malnutrition in the state will soon be over.
The duo gave the advice on a program with the theme: “Prioritizing investments in the nutrition of mothers, babies, toddlers and adolescents and the PARSNIP project – Keys to Sustainable Development”, carried out by UNICEF in partnership with the state government in Yenagoa will.
Tide reports that the event was attended by members of the Bayelsa State Executive Council, UNICEF officials and State House of Assembly lawmakers, as well as policymakers in both the health and agricultural sectors.
On the theme of Investing in Maternal, Infant, Child and Adolescent Nutrition for Sustainable Development, UNICEF’s nutritionist Nemat Hajeebhoy said that in a survey of around 500,000 children studying in Bayelsa state, Bei 125,000 have been diagnosed with stunted growth and other problems due to poor diet.
She identified exclusive breastfeeding as the panacea for adequate nutrition for children and infants, but added that about 90 percent of Bayelsa children were well-breastfed by their mothers with her team.
In his keynote address, State Governor Senator Douye Diri, represented by Secretary of State Dr. Konbowei Benson that the government is making a concerted effort to overcome the scourge called poverty.
Identifying deficiency and deficiency as causes of poor diet not just in the state but in many parts of the nation, he said that the prosperity government under his leadership is more determined than ever to implement its mantra of prosperity for all Bayelsans through proper planning and provision a conducive environment for all to thrive, to end the root causes of malnutrition, as identified by UNICEF in its report.
Diri criticized the federal government for running a federation with an imbalance, saying that the revenue that goes to the state from the federal treasury does not match the wealth generated from the natural resources tapped by the state, so the government is fighting along fair some budgetary provisions for the government that he believes contributed to the UNICEF report.
“Nigeria is a democracy, but the type of system where resources are withdrawn from our state for the development of other parts of the country without giving us as a state what corresponds to the amount of natural resources that our country has developed is ours greatest concern “.
“These reports that you have given us here should not normally have been like that if enough of the federal government had come to us as a state. So we need to get rid of the meager sum given to us from the amount they are taking away from our land every day.
“As a government, we will do our best to reverse the trend and create an environment for our people to thrive in so that our children can get better nutrition from their mothers,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bayelsa State Governor’s wife Dr. (Ms.) Gloria Diri said that children of the state would be properly fed under her time as first lady of the state.
She declared this during her inauguration by UNICEF as “Nutrition Champion”.
The state first lady, who commended UNICEF for the inauguration, stated that the program was appropriate, noting that UNICEF had rightly selected her for the inauguration, as well as pledging her continued commitment to the many children in relation to her Improve nutrition and well-being in the state as a first lady.
From: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa