By; SANI ALIYU, Zaria
The nutritional well being of all people is a precondition for development and a key index of progress in human development, therefore, reducing malnutrition is an important goal of development since malnutrition not only slows development but also leads directly to suffering and death.
To fight malnutrition in Kaduna State, action plan was immediately formed by the Executive Governor Mal. Nasiru Ahmed El-Rufai named “Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan (KADENAP)” with Hajiya Aisha Ummi Garba El-Rufai wife of the Governor as the Chairperson of KADENAP.
Following the disturbing statistics of Kaduna State, it quickly fast tracked the activities of existing ministries, departments and agencies that have to do with nutrition, women and child health plus development and properly synergize their functions, and avoid duplication of efforts and eliminate dogging and unnecessary delay in addressing malnutrition issues through holistic and sustainable ways.
To claim this noble course KADENAP engaged Kaduna State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to a two days training for 30 members on the fight against malnutrition in the state.
The belated recognition even after the ratification of food and nutrition policy by the Nigeria government, yet Nigeria has remained unable to feed its people unless it imports, which is not necessary.
Hunger and malnutrition have remained the most fundamental manifestation of poverty as the sources of hunger and malnutrition have been most devastating among the vulnerable groups of infants, young children and pregnant and lactating women particularly in poorer segment of the society.
Experts have said, malnutrition is the drain on the nation’s human resources and a hindrance to development, with enormous costs in human, social and economic terms.
The food and nutritional crisis is so pronounced that Kaduna State’s major highways and streets are flooded with multivitamins drugs and dietary supplements majority of which are fake, substandard and harmful to the human body.
During the two days training, it was learned that, it is true malnutrition is on our door steps which needs to have a quick action or response as the Executive Governor of Kaduna State took the lead among the 36 states in Nigeria and the result so far has given hope to the affected communities or families.
Despite all these timely interventions in Kaduna State, there is also a problem of a deplorable and poor network of food distribution, with the resultant effect that in some parts of Nigeria where some kinds of food are available in abundance, they are rotting away at a very time they are needed and command high prices in other parts of the country. But the most important of all these problems is the critical imbalance in household food security in our society.
Household food security is defined in terms of the ability of a family to obtain adequate food, either through home production or purchase, but the availability of food does not entirely represent nutritional adequacy.
Experts have noted that good nutrition is necessary to achieve healthy and active lifes, optimize educational and enhance productivity. The major nutritional problems in Kaduna State in particular and Nigeria in general as studies have shown are protein-energy malnutrition and micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals) deficiencies.
For those that are hearing of Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan (KADENAP) for the first time, it was inaugurated in January, 2017 by Governor Nasir el-Rufai following the disturbing statistics of malnourished children in the state.
The general public are regularly exposed to poor quality information about what to eat to promote health, particularly articles, reporting on junks leading to obesity.
This called for the workshop for members of the journalism profession in Kaduna State to have an informed approach in disseminating of correct information. To succeed, the Kaduna State Council of NUJ has created a forum and a platform named “Journalists Against Malnutrition (JAM)”.