In life, so many things are basic to our survival but some are more essential than others in the hierarchical structure of our priorities. On that note, it is credible to a large extent, to insinuate that the three most integral needs of man consist of food, clothing and shelter, without which one is stripped of his average humanity. Still, among those three factors, food stands out as the most essential and that is why some people believe that one would either mandatorily pay a good cook or a good doctor.
In a recent symposium organised by Enugu State Food and Nutrition Committee at Nike Lake Resort, the humble and inspiring wife of the fullfilling governor of Enugu State, Mrs, Monica Ugwuanyi layed bare her perceptions and projections for an improved standard of food and nutrition especially among women and children in Enugu state and beyond.
Standing on the existing protocols during the domestication of 2016 Food and Nutrition Policy and Finalizing the Multi-sectoral Costed Strategic Plan for Action, Mrs. Monica Ugwuanyi reminded all that the inadequacy of food and nutrition among women and children is directly proportional to a high level of unwarranted exposure of the vulnerables to avoidable but damaging ailments. Consequently, all hands must be on deck to improve the quality of food and nutrition available for consumption among women and children.
Pointing out that the Covid 19 outbreak resulted in a sudden irrelevance of some the organisations that promote the sufficient sustenance of food and nutrition, Mrs. Ugwuanyi emphasized that adequate measures should be put in place to take proper care of children especially during their first one thousand days on earth to avoid stunted growth and advancement.
Mrs. Ugwuanyi maintained that “malnutrition has been a public health problem especially the hard to reach areas and remote communities in Enugu State” adding that “this is more worrisome in pregnant women and children under the age of five”.
In her words, “malnutrition affects the wellbeing of the people; it drains the state of quality human capital and hinders economic and social development. Beyond economic growth, a whole lot of diseases are avoided when we reduce stunting rate within the first 1,000 days of life”.
Appreciating the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) for the initiative and the Enugu State Government for constituting and inaugurating the Enugu State Committee on Food and Nutrition with the aim of domesticating the national policy in the state, Mrs. Ugwuanyi urged members of the committee to put in their best to help the state and the nation to achieve the policy’s noble objectives “as quickly as possible”.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Budget and Planning, Mr. Casmir Ugwu addressing the audience, extoled Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State for his display of political will by inaugurating the committee and his commitment in actualizing the national policy.
Making his remarks,the Chief Field Officer, UNICEF Enugu, Dr. Conteh Ibrahim, pledged UNICEF’s continuous support to Enugu State and called for enhanced collaboration to check malnutrition in children and women.
Other noble guests at the event include; the State Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Dr. David O. Ugwunta, Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon. Matthew Idu and their Gender Affairs and Social Development counterpart, Hon. Princess Peace Nnaji, among others.
ENUGU STATE IS IN THE HANDS OF GOD.
BIBIAN ANEKWE NEWS MEDIA CORRESPONDENT.
ENUGU DI N’AKA CHUKWU MOVEMENT.