There Are Gaps In Nigeria’s Nutrition Provisions
By Ahmed Ahmed
Executive Secretary, Civil Society Scaling up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), Mrs. Beatrice Eluak, says there are information gaps on nutrition provision and services in Nigeria.
Eluak stated this at the Virtual media parley organized by International Society of Media in Public Health ( ISMPH) incollabration with SAM Advocacy partners tagged “HARNESSING INNOVATIVE FINANCING OPTIONS FOR NUTRITION: THE ROLE OF MEDIA” rencently
She reiterated that some gaps exist in the vivid information on demand for nutrition services.
“It is worthy of note that some gaps exist in vivid information about demand for nutrition services, communicating community-focused standard guidelines for prevention of malnutrition,
“Availability of clear, simple, easy to understand community-based nutrition-messages and materials particularly in diverse Nigerian local languages.
“We all know that myths and misconceptions particularly on optimal Infant and Young Child Feeding practices are still fully embraced in some communities in Nigeria, making infants and young children prone to malnutrition and its attendant impact later in adulthood,” she said .
Mrs Eluak said the theme of this virtual media parley: “Harnessing Innovative Financing options for Nutrition: The Role of the Media”; is a topical issue in our nation’s quest to strengthen the abilities of media personnel and nutrition policy analysts
“To communicate nutrition, agricultural, food security and nutrition policy issues meaningfully, in order to set innovative financing options for nutrition as an agenda in the Nigerian policy space.
She reiterated that the media remain very critical in disseminating messages around strategic behavioral change to provoke positive change in behavior and perception towards these practices among community residents.
“Quality journalism informs citizens about issues that affect them, holds institutions accountable and contributes to peace and democracy by providing a voice to all.
The Executive Secretary said media has the potential to boost the efforts of stakeholders in scaling up nutrition which is evident in the increasing number of SUN Countries reporting valuable and fruitful collaborations as well as plans to increase media engagement.
According to her, It is recognized that the media has a massive role to play in raising awareness and communicating messages around good nutrition and healthy diets to the masses,
“But also supporting advocacy efforts and magnifying advocacy issues to ensure that nutrition remains high on the political agenda and that the right policies, governance structures and actions are put in place to foster accountability across stakeholders.
“It is important that the media convey factual and evidence-based technical, policy, and funding information on nutrition through sound reporting.
“This will contribute to leveraging policy changes which can promote investment opportunities for nutrition, enhance nutrition services thereby contributing to improving the nutritional wellbeing of women, children and the vulnerable groups..
Mrs Eluak however charged the media to be more informed, do more analytical investigative reporting on nutrition and avoid media pieces that are inaccurate, misleading, superficial, sensation seeking, politically motivated and reactive (to Government statements or events) with little proactive analysis.
“Media reportage around such issues as budgets for nutrition, implementation and funding of nutrition policy documents, utilization and releases of funds allotted to nutrition, promotion of research and development for nutrition among others are particularly key to generating actions among government and non-government actors, she explained.