17.2m Nigerian Children Suffer from Stunted Growth, UNICEF Says

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By James Sowole in Akure

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has raised the alarm over the disturbing rate of stunted growth in children in the country, disclosing that no fewer than 17.2 million children below age five are affected.

The UNICEF Nutrition Specialist, Akure Office, Mrs Ada Ezeogu, who made the disclosure at the opening of a two-day Media Dialogue on Child Nutrition in South-west Nigeria Tuesday, said stunting is a health situation in child growth in which a child’s height is shorter than his or her age.

According to her, statistics showed that 37 per cent of children representing over six million are malnourished.

She disclosed that the 17.2 million figure represents 43.6 per cent of an estimated 40 million Nigerian children under the age of five years, adding that 19.4 per cent children in the South-west are stunted resulting from malnourishment.

“This is worse than the South-east and South-south but better than the North. And we must do more as agenda setters to keep this issue on national discourse and help reverse the ugly trend,” she said.

Details later…