An expert in child nutrition has disclosed that, at least, one million Nigerian children die as a result of malnutrition and that about 12 million children under five in the country are stunted due to the same reason.
Dr. Chris Isokpunwu, a Deputy Director at the Ministry of Health made this assertion yesterday in Abuja at a one-day media parley and presentation of the Re-energizing Nutrition – Expanding Worldwide, RENEW project which was organized by the ChildRights Information Bureau in collaboration with Population Reference Bureau, PRB.
In a presentation, Isokpunwu said that a lot of adults are short as a result of malnutrition during their infancy, adding that a national policy on food and nutrition was underway in the country to address the issues of malnutrition and stunted growth in children.
According to him, children under the age of five are affected by severe acute malnutrition each year, especially in the North East and North West regions of the country.
Giving further reason for this scenario in the country, the nutrition expert said, “most mothers lack the knowledge of giving their children the right nutritional foods, adding that breast feeding in the first six months of life is the best for good nutrition that gives children immunity against child killer diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia.
Speaking on the best time to prevent malnutrition in children, he said, ‘’there is a window of time to prevent malnutrition which is known as the 1,000 day period – from the start of a woman’s pregnancy until her child’s second birthday, adding that this stage represents a critical window of opportunity.
Adequate nutrition during this period can avert malnutrition, ensuring that children have the best possible opportunity to grow, learn and rise out of poverty, he said.
Mothers should ensure that children eat at least four out of the seven new classification of food groups everyday to stay out of malnutrition, the expert advised.

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