Strategies for Improving Maternal and Child Nutrition!!! That was the theme of the just concluded AGM of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria.
Recent statistics showed that Nigeria accounts for 10% global Maternal and Child mortality rate. Presently, the rate of maternal deaths is 540 deaths out of 100,000 births, and 276 children out of the live births die before their 5th birthday. 53% of deaths are traceable to poor nutrition.
This is very! Very! Very! depressing. When I was a child, I was told stories of how a lot of children suffered from severe malnutrition during the Nigerian civil war by my father. Pictures from television documentaries on the Nigerian civil war and that of some warring African nations depict kwashiorkor and marasmus as war conditions. When ever I hear of war, I see hungry people, and people who got sick due to hunger and poor nutrition. It is very unfortunate to know that even when dear Nigeria is not at war, this picture of war condition still lives with us.
We are still at war, and this war is one that we have to win. It is a war against maternal and child mortality, opposing malnutrition is the best strategy.