Mrs. Imoke Challenges Nutritionists to Fashion National Agenda

In Breaking News, National News, Reports

by crossriverwatch admin

Mrs. Obioma Imoke
Mrs. Obioma Imoke

The wife of Cross River State Governor, Mrs. Obioma Liyel-Imoke has challenged the Nutrition Society of Nigeria to come up with local solutions for achieving national socio-economic goals and the Millennium Development Goals as well as proffer ideas that will attract policy makers to make nutrition top of the agenda of the national discourse.

Mrs. Liyel-Imoke gave the charge during the 43rd Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference 2013 held in Calabar.

She noted that the theme of the conference “Prioritizing the Nutrition Agenda for Sustainable Development in the 21st Century” could not have been more timely as malnutrition she said stands a major public health problem in Nigeria because of its impact on the people and the economy.

The Governor’s Wife who was represented by Dr. Regina Ejemot-Nwadiaro explained that “despite the progress made by this present administration in the areas of health, agriculture and other related sectors, reports have it that about 41% of children under-five years in Nigeria are still stunted, 23% are underweight and 14% wasted.

“These mainly account for why our children do not survive up to their fifth birthday and these also serve as proxy of the nutritional state of all Nigerians. In addition, 12% of mothers are reported to be clinically undernourished.”

She stated that these abysmal statistics account for why Nigeria ranks very high globally in under five mortality and maternal mortality rates.

She therefore urged all stakeholders to stop rhetoric but rather pay premium attention to nutritional needs of the citizenry.

Imoke’s wife who is the Grand Patron of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria revealed that she had been committed to health and nutrition promoting activities through her complementary role in the people oriented health programs of her husband, Senator Liyel Imoke through her flagships projects that promote crosscutting concerns and synergy in maternal and child welfare as well as nutrition, sexual and reproductive health.

The President of Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Prof. Ngozi Nnam, in her welcome address said the theme of this year’s conference was apt and would provide basic platform for the launch of the Scale Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement in the country.

She stated that the society has a vision for improved nutrition in the country and that their annual general meeting and scientific conference was a part of their mission to ensure adequate nutrition for all.

She was optimistic that they would provide opportunities for nutritionists and other professionals to share expertise and exchange experiences that can strengthen nutrition issues to promote development as well as afford young Nutritionists a window of opportunity for growth.

According to Prof Nnam, “Malnutrition is responsible for more than 60% of child mortality in Nigeria. Up to 10.9 million children under-five years of age are stunted in Nigeria by malnutrition. This implies that their physical and cognitive development is impaired and they are unable to reach their full potentials”.

She said for Nigeria to make a significant progress in development, nutrition sensitive issues need to be prioritized to reduce the double burden of malnutrition that negatively impact on the health and economic development of the country. She thanked their sponsors and all those that made the conference possible.

In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the conference, Prof Saturday Etuk commended the members of Nutrition Society of Nigeria for holding their conference in Calabar and expressed his happiness that they are fighting a noble course of preventing people dying from nutrition related disorders, such as diabetes, Hypertension. He asked the participants to savour the tourism potentials of the state.

The Vice Chancellor, Cross River University of Technology Calabar (CRUTECH) Prof, E.E. Ene-Obong, (FAS) who was represented by Prof Akon Monday Joshua called for the inclusion of nutrition as a subject in the Nigerian school curriculum.

The highpoint of the event was a keynote address by Prof Lilian Salami of the University of Benin.
The conference witnessed presentation of Award of Excellence to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (GCFR) former President of Nigeria and Alhaji Aliko Dangote (GCON) Chairman of Aliko Dangote Group of Companies.

The following winners of Nutrition Essay Competition in Calabar were also awarded prizes. First Prize went to Agba Emmanuel of West African Peoples’ Institute, while Eko Goodness Moses from Estate Secondary School and Dorcas Goodness Odok took second and third respectively.

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