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Experts proffer solutions to malnutrition




A group of nutritionists has said food fortification remains a proven strategy to address the growing severe micro-nutrient deficiency and other malnutrition challenges.

The groups including Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, National Economic Summit Group, and E-Health, in a communique issued after a media roundtable titled, ‘Fortifying Nigeria’s future: A media roundtable on promoting fortification compliance and workforce nutrition in Nigeria,’ said lack of a regulatory framework to sanction compliance to food fortification had hampered effort by various regulatory agencies to enforce fortification.

It added that food fortification was an imminent strategy to mitigate micro-nutrient deficiency and improve micro-nutrition supply in food consumption.

It read, “While food fortification remains a proven strategy to address the growing severe micro-nutrient deficiency and other malnutrition-imposed physical and cognitive challenges at all levels, micronutrient deficiency manifests in iron deficiency, goiter prevalence, and zinc deficiency.

“With poverty, hunger, and malnutrition constituting greater but unattended health and socio-economic threats to the progress and stability of every society, hence the global promulgation of Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 2 to eradicate poverty in all its manifestations and create a world free of hunger by 2030. The imminent high cost associated with the production of food fortification process discourages investment by manufacturers in fortified food production. “Lack of self-regulation of fortified foods hampers efforts at regulatory level”

There was a welcome remark from the Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani). The meeting had some technical sessions with presentations titled, ‘The state of malnutrition and workforce nutrition in Nigeria,’ by Chair, Senate Committee on Health, Dr Yahaya Ibrahim Oloriegbe; ‘The role of food fortification in addressing micronutrient deficiencies,’ by President, Nutrition Association of Nigeria, Prof. Wasiu Afolabi; ‘The challenges and successes of fortification compliance and opportunities for promoting workforce nutrition in Nigeria,’ by President, Consumer Advocacy for Food Safety and Nutrition Initiative, Prof. Olugbenga Ben Ogunmoyela.

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