Sunday, January 03, 2016

Child poverty in Nigeria

National President of Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria, Dr. Tanimola Akande, said on Saturday that Nigeria despite being a lower-middle-income country has the highest number of children with stunted growth who are below the age of five years in sub-Saharan Africa and the second highest in the world. Nigeria accounts for about 11 per cent of total global under-five deaths. A report by National Demography and Health Survey showed that 37 per cent of children under age five are stunted, 18 per cent are wasted, and 29 per cent are underweight.

“There are many causes of malnutrition in Nigeria, but the most obvious are poor infant and child feeding practices, lack of access to healthcare, water, and sanitation, and a high level of poverty,” Akande explained.

Dr. Mubashir Uthman said Nigeria records approximately 800,000 under-five deaths annually. According to Uthman, malnutrition is the underlying cause of about 53 per cent of child deaths in Nigeria.
“Malnutrition among women and children is a major challenge to health and human development of any country. Malnourished children have an increased risk of disability and premature death and are highly predisposed to infectious diseases,” Uthman said.

The NDHS report also indicated 11per cent of women are undernourished while 25 per cent are overweight or obese.

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