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17 million undernourished children in Nigeria

17 million undernourished children in Nigeria
Photo by Ben White- Ask Nigeria

Northern Nigerian children are mostly affected by malnutrition.

According to UNICEF, Nigeria has the second highest number of children suffering from malnutrition and stunted growth in the world. Also, there is a national prevalence rate of 32 percent of children under five. An estimation of over two million children in Nigeria are suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM), yet only 2 out of every 10 affected children are currently receiving treatment. A side from children, about 7 percent of women of childbearing age also suffer from acute malnutrition.

States in northern Nigeria are mostly affected by malnutrition; stunting and wasting. The increasing rate of malnutrition is therefore a threat to the significant public health and development of the country. Stunted growth, despite bearing a high risk of death, also leads to poor cognitive development, a declining performance in education, and low productivity in adulthood. All the aforementioned shortcomings of an individual with stunted growth contribute to economic losses estimated to account for about 11 percent of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

57% of children in North-West Nigeria are stunted.

The United Nations Children’s Fund report published in 2021 – Fed to Fail? The Crisis of Children’s Diets in Early Life – ranked Nigeria as the second in the global malnutrition burden with over 17 million undernourished children. The report states that one in three Nigerian children is diminutive, and 1 in 10 children is wasting away. This current of the country is a major setback to the achievement of its Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 – “Zero Hunger” by 2030.

The 2018 National Demography Health Survey (NDHS), also reported that 37 percent of children aged between 0 to 59 months, in Nigeria, are stunted (short for their age); 7 percent are wasting away (too thin for their height); 22 percent are underweight (too thin for their age); 2 percent are overweight (heavy for their age), with high tendency of cardiovascular disease as they grow older. The survey states that global acute malnutrition in the South-West is lower than 7 percent, over 57 percent are suffering in the North-West, and about 18 percent of these children in the South-West.

Worsening insecurity in Nigeria contributes to malnutrition.

Malnutrition has been recorded to have several causes, some include poverty, ignorance, inadequate food intake, uneven food distribution, inadequate food production, poor sanitation, improper preparation of foods and poor food preservation techniques. More underlying causes of malnutrition are poor maternal health, socioeconomic status, war and conflict, and insecurity. Nigeria has a rapidly growing insecurity challenge, mostly rampant in the north, which has caused many children to be struck with malnutrition due to the loss of properties during attacks which always lead to poverty.

Nevertheless, UNICEF has since 2009 encouraged Nigeria’s community based program for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition. The program has grown significantly since then and has become one of the largest treatment programs supported by UNICEF in the world. They also put in place other measures to prevent malnutrition by supporting the enlightenment and counseling of mothers and caregivers on how to adequately feed their children. It also ensures provision of free micronutrient supplements to children and pregnant women.

UNICEF supports Nigeria’s nutrition programs.

UNICEF’s programme supports the government and encourages the implementation of the National Plan of Action on Food and Nutrition through strengthening health and community systems, also by fully integrating nutrition into all aspects of the Primary Health Care (PHC) system. In addition, there should be a particular focus on Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM), Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) interventions and micronutrient supplementation. These nutrition interventions by UNICEF are also in convergence with interventions of other sectors, such as those related to antenatal care, the prevention and control of pneumonia and diarrhea, immunization, deworming, distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, and adolescent girls’ and maternal nutrition.


Related Links

Unicef:  Website

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Ask Nigeria
Ask Nigeria
4 months ago

17 million undernourished children in NigeriaNorthern Nigerian children are mostly affected by malnutrition.Express your point of view.

Ask Nigeria
Ask Nigeria
4 months ago

17 million undernourished children in NigeriaNorthern Nigerian children are mostly affected by malnutrition.Express your point of view.

Adeolastan
Adeolastan
4 months ago

The malnutrition problem can’t be solve in Nigeria because insurgency rate in Nigeria is getting high everyday and government didn’t take any proactive measure to curb it and 💯% of the farming takes place where all this crisis happen.There will continue shortage of food and poverty level will continue to be on the rise,ordinary people wouldn’t be able to eat balance diet and that’s the major problem affecting the northern part of the country.

Khalifa001
Khalifa001
4 months ago

17 million undernourished children in Nigeria is a lot and from findings most are from the north and it is said that 2 million Nigeria kids are suffering from severe acute malnutrition

Mercy unisex saloon
Mercy unisex saloon
4 months ago

The cause for malnutrition in Nigeria can be blame on the government. Buhari govt is receiving 1billion naira daily to feed the children and curb malnutrition mostly in the north region. Govt failure to protect and safeguard the farmers are part of the reason leading to malnourished children. Insecurity in any country will lead to suffering of the people and lack of food source. Buhari govt should be ashamed of this record Nigeria hold in the world as number 2 regarding malnourished children.

jdpumping
jdpumping
4 months ago

Why Nigeria my dear country 17 million malnourished children this is just unacceptable our government are not doing anything despite all their shouts that they feed the poor,where are the feeding going to,Nothing is being done right in this country.Insecurity is now adding to what’s on ground because farmers are no longer able to produce foods so their is shortage on supply and increase in food prices.

Haykaylyon26
Haykaylyon26
4 months ago

The number of malnourished of children is too high is a shame to our country, poverty won’t allow them to eat better food and if someone is not eating a good food it lead to bad health which might cause to death so government should find something done to this issue. We have to improve our economy

Tonerol10
Tonerol10
4 months ago

All the money that government is receiving on that what are they using it for. Government should have sympathy on this children please

Abusi
Abusi
4 months ago

The reason why we have alot of malnourished children is as a result of poverty. Alot of people live below 1 dollar and it’s very disheartening. The reason why we have almajiris in the north is because of the lack of basic needs of life which they they have been deprived of. The government needs to invest in projects that will help alleviate poverty in the country.

AN-Usman
Member
4 months ago

The main cause for this is poverty. Our economy is in shambles and its getting more worse which makes it hard for most people not to be able or eat a correct balance diet and nutritious food. Provisions should be made by the government to mitigate the ratio.

theApr
theApr
4 months ago

There’s so much poverty in the country; A lot of people live below $1 daily. The government has failed everyone, it’s so disheartening.

Adesanyaj72
Adesanyaj72
4 months ago

Malnutrition primarily affects states in northern Nigeria, causing stunting and wasting, which has a significant negative impact on children.

Iyanu12345ogg
Iyanu12345ogg
4 months ago

The main cause for this is poverty. With how affected the economy is, it would be hard for some people to be able eat a correct balance diet and nutritious food. The government needs to invest in projects that will help alleviate poverty in the country .This would help solve the issue.

Last edited 4 months ago by Iyanu12345ogg
Hassan Isa
Hassan Isa
4 months ago

This number is far too high; the government needs t to divert and pay serious attention to this issue on the ground because children are suffering.

Hassan Isa
Hassan Isa
4 months ago

These escaped criminals will do a great deal of damage to the citizens as they have escaped and they need to be caught asap.

Chibuzor
Chibuzor
4 months ago

Nigeria has the second most children in the world who are malnourished and don’t grow as tall as they should; this needs to change. May God help us

Nwachukwu Kingsley
Nwachukwu Kingsley
4 months ago

Because of poverty, we have a lot of kids who aren’t getting enough food in the north. They need serious help.

AN-Abiodun
Member
4 months ago

While sourcing for ways to help children suffering from malnutrition, child control should also be strongly emphasized especially in the north.

The rate at which they give birth is alarming, only if the country’s economic situation is good, that would have solved the issue.

Also if those children are not taken care of, they can turn to another thing that might not be good.

But with the support of those bodies, this should curb malnutrition.

Last edited 4 months ago by AN-Abiodun
Godsewill Ifeanyi
Godsewill Ifeanyi
4 months ago

Our government should provide basic amenities for these children in the north so they don’t venture into begging to eat which is not good.

Christiana
Christiana
4 months ago

It’s hard to believe we have millions of malnourished kids in this Nigeria where politicians are spending 100 million on presidential form. This simply shows that the government are not performing their duties towards the people at all

Ultra0711
Ultra0711
4 months ago

The government should take steps to reduce malnutrition by encouraging mothers and other caregivers to learn and get advice on how to feed their children properly and by making sure that children and pregnant women get free micronutrient supplements.

Kazeem1
Kazeem1
4 months ago

One out of every three Nigerian children is small, and one out of every ten is losing weight, and this is a was a thing. We need change

Taiwoo
Taiwoo
4 months ago

Researchers have identified several factors that can lead to malnutrition, including poverty as one of them and this is something we’re battling with in this country

Remi1
Remi1
4 months ago

It is strongly recommended that we establish a community-based programme for the management of severe acute malnutrition.

Tolaniiii
Tolaniiii
4 months ago

Poverty is the main cause of malnourishment. Poverty is something government will always promise to reduce in all of their manifestos but instead the rate of poverty keeps on increasing. All this country need right now is restructuring of the government.

Yomii
Yomii
4 months ago

Malnutrition in this country is caused by things like poverty, lack of education, not eating enough, unequal food distribution, not making enough food, inadequate sanitation, improper food preparation, and lousy food storage, and these are things we need to work on as a nation.

Bola12
Bola12
4 months ago

Children in the north who aren’t getting enough food don’t learn as well, do worse in school and aren’t as productive as they could be as adults. This isn’t good for them

SarahDiv
SarahDiv
4 months ago

The situation in Nigeria is pathetic. Things are getting by the day with this present administration. Why won’t there be large percentage of children suffering from malnutrition in Nigeria. Government needs to step up there concern for the masses and at all cost eradicate or reduce poverty in Nigeria.

DimOla
DimOla
4 months ago

17 million children in Nigeria are malnourished is a call for concern. It prove to us that this government is doing nothing to address this situation. There is high level of corruption, poverty, joblessness in the land.