Benue risks N29bn loss over non-implemention of nutrition policies – CS-SUNN 

The Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) Wednesday  said Benue state may lose N29,271,692 400 on treatment of malnurished children yearly if the state fails to implement policies on nutrition.

Speaking during the breakfast meeting of policymakers on implementation of 6 months maternity leave with pay for women of reproductive age, held in Makurdi, programme officer of CS-SUNN, Ambrose Evnoesor, said lack of good nutrition remains a formidable cause of death with stunting in particular linked to adverse outcomes which results to poor development, performance and diminished productivity in adulthood.

He said the Nigeria demographic and health survey reveals that 21% of children under-five in Benue are stunted, 23% are underweight, and 13.6% are wasted.

He expressed worry over lack of Strategic Plan of Action for Nutrition (SPAN) to provide a multi-sectoral approach to tackling the problem of malnutrition among women and children.

While commending the state government for improving on budgetary allocation on nutrition activities, he encouraged government to extend the paid maternity leave for nursing mothers from 3 to 6 months to enable them adequately take care of their children’s nutritional needs. 

Permanent Secretary, Benue State Budget and Economic Planning Commission, Moses Levah, who represented the director general of the commission, in his address acknowledged the significance of the policy in promoting gender equality, supporting the mothers, and ensuring the well-being of the children.
“I am excited to explore ways in which we can work together to make this policy a success.

“Before we begin, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of our partners especially CS-SUNN, UNICEF, and other partners supporting the Benue state government in recognising the importance of this policy. Your dedication to creating a supportive environment for all is truly commendable.

“I urge all of us to work together towards making a positive impact on the lives of women and families in Benue state,” he added.

Member of the Benue State House of Assembly and chairman standing Committee on Health, Dugeri Thomas Terzungwe, said there should be full implementation of budgetary allocations not only on nutrition but other sectors too. He added that the state assembly is working on monitoring budget to ensure full implementation.