Headline Health National News Nigeria

7.3m adolescent girls, women undernourished-UNICEF

Children being vaccinated by health care workers. Photo credit : Radio Nigeria

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says the number of undernourished adolescent girls and women in Nigeria aged between 15 and 49 soared from 5.6million in 2018 to 7.3 million in 2021.

In a statement issued ahead of the International Women’s Day, UNICEF warned that ongoing crises, aggravated by unending gender inequality, are deepening a nutrition crisis among adolescent girls and women that had already shown little improvement in the last two decades.

According to the statement, 55% of adolescent girls and women in Nigeria suffer from anaemia, while nearly half of Nigerian women of reproductive age do not consume the recommended diet of at least five out of 10 food groups.

It also said Inadequate nutrition during girls’ and women’s lives can lead to weakened immunity, poor cognitive development, and an increased risk of life-threatening complications.

this includes; during pregnancy and childbirth with dangerous and irreversible consequences for their children’s survival, growth, learning, and future earning capacity.

It called on governments and humanitarian partners to support the Implementation of policies and mandatory legal measures that will expand large-scale food fortification of routinely-consumed foods, such as flour, cooking oil and salt, to help reduce micronutrient deficiencies and anemia in girls and women.

Writing by Azizatu Sani; Editing by Julian Osamoto and Tony Okerafor