Malnutrition is widespread in Nigeria, especially in rural areas, and this is partly due to inadequate food and nutrient supply. According to Smith and Haddad, 1999, malnutrition in early childhood is associated with functional impairment in adult life as malnourished children are physically and intellectually less productive when they become adults. Also, malnourished children tend to have increased risk of morbidity and mortality and often suffered delayed mental development, poor school performance and reduced intellectual achievement. It has been reported that government at both the national, state and local government level in Nigeria have not prioritised nutrition thus, analysts are of the opinion that Nigeria hasn’t really come to terms with the reality of the unending consequence of malnutrition. The Global Alliance for improved nutrition had accounted that at least 10 million children are affected by stunting in Nigeria. According to WHO, one million children under five die every year in Nigeria, 35% of under five deaths in Nigeria are caused by malnutrition and in northern Nigeria, half of all children under five are stunted while one in every five suffers from acute malnutrition. These indices make meeting the target of MDG Goal 4 a difficult task.
Often times, nutrition programs focus on supply side improvements such as policy and institutional reforms, while relying on government led improvement is good, it is not a sufficient strategy to push for the attainment of targets. TDii was consulted to develop strategies for strengthening demand side participation to increase services for nutrition in Northern Nigeria. Developing the strategy involved carrying out a broad based research in thirty communities in five northern states-Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Yobe and Zamfara.
FUNDED BY: WORKING TO IMPROVE NUTRITION IN NORTHERN NIGERIA (WINNN-SCI)