Malnutrition continues to pose an ugly threat in Nigeria as UNICEF reveals Nigeria is overwhelmed by the 2n/a highest prevalence of stunted children in the world. UNICEF further reports that only 2 out of 10 children affected by severe acute malnutrition are treated. Corroborating this trend, the National Survey on Demography and Health postulates that 37% of children aged 0 to 59 months are stunted, 22% underweight and 7% emaciation.
The Sustainable Malnutrition Intervention Program (SMALINT) aimed at tackling malnutrition through mindful dietary intervention, awareness and monitoring, ended this month after a 6-month run. Food demonstration classes, a major component of this program, sensitized 1,600 mothers over the course of 6 months and helped 37 children overcome malnutrition. This represents 92.5% of the Foundation’s objective. Despite targeting 40 children, the SMALINT program ended up enrolling 58 children (23 boys, 35 girls) including 17 with severe acute malnutrition (8 boys, 9 girls), suggesting that much more needs to be done in the collective fight against undernutrition.
Before and after photos of the Omonojo twins (Omotomiwa and Omobayowa)
On hand to assess the success of the program were the Executive Director of the Oladele Fajemirokun Foundation, Ms. LawumiFajemirokun; Executive Chairman of Lekki Local Council Development Area, Hon. Rasaki Bamidele Kasali; Lagos State Primary Health Care Board Nutrition Program Manager, Dr. AdetokeAdekitan; Program Director, Oladele Fajemirokun Foundation, Mr. Kene Egbue; 25 chairpersons of ward health committees, as well as management and staff of Lekki Primary Health Care Center, Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area.
Speaking at the Primary Health Care Center, Ms. Fajemirokun thanked all project stakeholders for their unwavering commitment to its success and promised to strengthen the Foundation’s relationship with the community. While reeling off statistics on the intervention throughout the project cycle, the Nutrition Officer of Ibeju-Lekki LGA, Ms. Motunrayo Coker, shed light on the most pressing causes of malnutrition in the community ; poverty being the most common cause as community members were mainly small-scale fishers and traders.
(m): Hon. Kasali Rasaki, Executive Chairman, Lekki Local Council Development Authority; (2n/a right): Ms. LawumiFajemirokun, Executive Director, Oladele Fajemirokun Foundation; (A): Dr. Adekitan Adetoke
Following the results recorded, the owner of the Vocational Training Center of Orimedu, Mrs. Blessing Akinpelu was present to speak to the mothers about the economic opportunities created thanks to a partnership with the Foundation. Ms Akinpelu noted that the idea was to identify mothers without economic means and help them learn skills with which they could be helped to start small businesses or be employed in these industries, with the aim of improving feeding their children. Drawing inspiration from the boom in industrial establishments around the Free Trade Zone, the vocational training center will also tailor its programs to meet the employment needs of these companies, ensuring that participants can be more easily absorbed into the economy and sustain SMALINT gains. Thanking the Foundation, Lagos State Nutrition Program Manager, Dr. Adekitan was pleased with the 6-month results and pledged the continued support of the Lagos State Primary Health Care Council to these new programs.
Cross-section of some beneficiary mothers; middle: Ms. Lawumi Fajemirokun, Executive Director, Oladele Fajemirokun Foundation
#Fajemirokun #Foundation #Winning #fight #malnutrition #Punch #Newspapers