The United Nations Children’s Fund has reported that 152, 243 children under the ages of 5, in Enugu State are stunted in growth, the Planning and Monitoring Specialist, UNICEF, Enugu Field Office, Mrs Maureen Zubie-Okolo disclosed in Enugu during a Policy Dialogue with Enugu State Executive and Legislative Councils on Investment in Nutrition, on Thursday.
She stated that the cause of the stunted growth was due to poor maternal, infant and young child feeding practices during the first 1000 days of the child’s life.
“In Enugu State, only 7.8% of children under five years receive the minimum acceptable diet while less than one-fifth children 0-5 months are exclusively breastfed.
She said, “This is a call for both the executive and legislative arms of the state government to come together to ensure that nutrition is placed on the agenda.”
According to Maureen, malnutrition had become a silent emergency, adding that despite the unfortunate development it was being ignored.
Maureen who said that the meeting was in line with the Sustainable Development Goals agenda of eliminating all causes of malnutrition by 2030 revealed that the goal includes achieving the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under five years by 2025.