The Lagos State Government says it will create more awareness for the state’s one thousand days nutrition programme to enhance the health and wellbeing of babies in the state.
Dr Bunmi Iwayeni, the Assistant Director, Family Health and Nutrition, Lagos State Primary Health Care Board (LSPHCB), made this known on Thursday in Lagos.
She spoke during an advocacy visit of Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) to the board’s office.
Reports said that the first thousand days, which is from conception to second birthday of a child, was considered critical to the wellbeing and development of babies with long lasting benefit throughout their life.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of infant’s life, followed by the introduction of complementary foods from six months with continued breastfeeding until two years or beyond.
Iwayeni said that the first one thousand days of a child’s life offers a unique window of opportunity for preventing under-nutrition, promoting health and development of children.
According to her, the programme will be a holistic process that will require more focus and funding and expected to start in 2022.
She said that promoting awareness of the significance of the first one thousand days would assist to entrench good nutrition as a norm in the society.
Iwayeni said that the board had been promoting breastfeeding, complementary feeding, food fortification and healthy diets for babies in the state.
She said the state government was passionate about promoting nutrition among its residents, adding that the Lagos State Food and Nutrition plan would assist the state to achieve its goals.
Also, Dr Ibrahim Mustapha, Permanent Secretary, LSPHCB, said that achieving optimal nutrition status for all residents with particular emphasis on vulnerable groups such as children, adolescents, women, and the elderly, was the priority of government.
Mustapha said that the board would work on improving the budget timeline for nutrition toward creating more impactful programmes.
He commended CS-SUNN, saying that its activities align with the state’s goal to promote nutrition, health and wellbeing of its residents.
Earlier, Dr Modupe Akinyinka, Lagos State Coordinator of CS-SUNN, appealed to the board to increase its funding for nutrition programmes.
Akinyinka said that CS-SUNN had been at the forefront of advocacy of good health, reducing malnutrition, ensuring accountability and implementation of nutrition policies and plans in Nigeria.