Home Art & Culture 7.3 million adolescent girls and women in Nigeria are undernourished – UNICEF.

7.3 million adolescent girls and women in Nigeria are undernourished – UNICEF.


As Nigeria joined the world to celebrate the International Women’s Day , The United Nations Children’s Fund , UNICEF says 7.3 million adolescent girls and women of reproductive age in Nigeria are undernourished, putting women and new born babies at risk.

In a statement made available to journalists in Abuja ahead of the international women’s day, by UNICEF, New global report raises alarm on the need to invest in essential nutrition programmes for adolescent girls and women as half of stunting in children under 2 developing during pregnancy and before six months.

According to a new global report release by UNICEF, the number of adolescent girls and women aged 15-49 years who are undernourished has soared from 5.6 million since 2018 to 7.3 million in 2021 in Nigeria, which is among the 12 hardest hit countries by the global found and nutrition crisis.

Undernourished and overlooked: A Global Nutrition Crisis in Adolescent Girls and Women – issued ahead of international women’s day, warns that the ongoing crisis aggravated by unending gender inequality are deepening a nutrition crisis among adolescent girls and women that had already shown little improvement in the last two decades.

UNICEF Executive Director, Catherine Russell in the statement said the nutrition crisis is pushing millions of mothers and their children into hunger and severe malnutrition, added that without urgent action from the international community, the consequences could last for generations to come

According to the report , an unprecedented and comprehensive look at the state of adolescent girls and women’s nutrition globally ,- more than one billion adolescent girls and women underweight and shout weight . Deficiencies in essential micronutrients and anaemia with devasting consequences for their lives and well-being.

” In Nigeria, 55 per cent of adolescent girls and women suffer from anaemia while nearly half of Nigerian women of reproductive age do not consume the recommended diet of at least 5 out of 10 food groups (grains and tubers, pulses, nuts , seeds, dairy , meat, poulty and fish, eggs, dark green leafy vegetables,other vitamin A rich fruits and vegetables, other vegetables and other fruits) according to the 2022 National Food Consumption and Micronutrients Survey “.

” Inadequate nutrition during girls and women’s lives can lead to weakened immunity , poor cognitive development, and an increased risk of life threatening complication , including during pregnancy and childbirth risking mother’s lives , also with dangerous and irreversible consequences for their children’s survival growth, learning and future earning capacity.

” For example in Nigeria, 12 million children under 5 are stunted , meaning they are too short for their age due to malnutrition, of those about half became stunted during pregnancy and the first six months of life , the 500 day period when a child is fully dependent on maternal nutrition, according to a new analysis in the report”.

Russell said , to prevent undernutrition in children, malnutrition must also be address in adolescent girls and women, accelerating the elimination of discriminating gender and social norms such as child marriage and the inequitable sharing of food, household resources, income and domestic works .

Also , UNICEF Nigeria Country Representative , Cristian Munduate in the statement said to ensure a better future for the children, adolescent girls and women access to nutritious food and essential nutrition service must be prioritize .

” The nutrition crisis deepening among them and urgent action is needed from the partners including the Government of Nigeria and the International community, we cannot afford to overlook this crisis , we must work together to transform food, health and social protection systems “.



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