Children below five in Nigeria have stunted growth: Study
March 3, Abuja: Project Director, Civil Society Scaling-up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SNN) Mrs Ngozi Onuora said currently 57 per cent of children from 0 to five years are stunted, while 42 per cent do not have adequate access to food.
She disclosed this at a two-day training workshop of nutrition-based Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on budget tracking to promote transparency and accountability in government nutrition spending held in Kaduna state.
According to her, the training has become necessary to address the current nutrition challenges in the State.
She pointed out that the number of children dying of malnutrition in Nigeria is rising by the day, adding that steps must be taken to tackle the menace.
In his remarks, CS-SNN Project Officer, Mr Okoromkwo Sunday, added that CSOs must be interested in government budget to address the challenge of malnutrition in the country.
According to him the poorest and the most vulnerable in the society depend soley on public health system.
He said health service is a basic human right that should be available to all; adding that a larger percentage of Nigerians do not have access to basic health care services.
“CSOs can oversee health expenditure, monitoring what is spend by local authorities and using the findings to call for change in nutrition budgetary allocation.
“They can get involved in the planning process and influence national and local spending priorities.
“This is because budget tracking has been proven to be an important tool in identifying challenges, inefficiency and waste in service delivery and curb the menace of corruption.
“It has been successfully used to promote reforms leading to significant improvement in budget allocation both at the national and at the local levels, “he said.
He stressed that CSOs have a role to play in ensuring transparency and accountability in the way government spends funds on health services.
The Oslo Times