Edo State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria, has stressed the importance of right nutrition, particularly during the first 1,000 days in the life of every child, describing it as the bedrock for the formation of the brain and immunity.
Prof. Akoria gave the recommendation in her office in Benin City, when the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Budget, Economic Planning and Development and Chairman of Edo State Committee on Food and Nutrition, Mr. Bernard Aigbe, ably represented by the Director of Development Partnership Department, Mr. Kingsley Ogbodu, paid her an advocacy visit.
The Health Commissioner, while commending the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, for inaugurating the State Committee on Food and Nutrition, explained that children are best catered for right from conception, in order for them to be well nurtured with all the basic nutrition packages, including adequate care for pregnant mothers, exclusive breastfeeding, vitamin A supplement, de-worming and growth monitoring for children from pregnancy to two years of age.
Prof. Akoria appealed to the State Committee on Food and Nutrition to ensure adequate collaboration with relevant stakeholders, and cascade information to everyone. She also emphasized the essence of the Primary Healthcare programme, which according to her, is to ensure access to quality healthcare for everyone irrespective of age, and urged members of the Committee to continue to sensitize residents in the State on the need to take care of their health.
Earlier, Mr. Aigbe informed the Health Commissioner that his Team was in her office to advocate for nutrition eco system, and also to inform her of the Committee’s mandates and measures to reduce malnutrition, improve data collection as well as modalities for the coordination of relevant sectors to improve nutrition in the State.
While emphasizing the importance of follow-up on growth monitoring of children and ensuring children of 0-59 months get all the necessary nutrition supplements, he stressed the need to prioritize nutrition to promote the well-being of children in the State, as according to him, malnutrition has become a global challenge.