Group photograph of participants including five northern states Assembly Speakers, nutritional officers and CISLAC Members.
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC says it will continue to engage with the leadership and relevant committees of the National Assembly to ensure improved and sustainable investment on nutrition in the country.
Executive Director of CISLAC Mr Auwal Ibrahim Musa stated this during a Legislative summit on prevention and treatment of severe and acute malnutrition-SAM, to mark the world food day in Kaduna.
He said the summit that was held with legislative heads of five Nothern state Assemblies was to create an enabling platform for interaction toward proffering holistic solution to malnutrition as well as challenges of inadequate funding for the prevention and treatment of SAM.
According to Auwal Ibrahim, the summit also seeks to provide a platform for the legislators to understand the nutrition situation in their States to enable them to commit ensuring that SAM prevention and treatment is recognized and prioritize as a human right issue through appropriate legislative intervention.
While stressing the importance of adequate nutrition to nation-building, the CISLAC ED said Nigeria has the highest burden of malnutrition in Africa with 32 per cent of children experiencing malnutrition deficit.
Auwal Ibrahim explained that policy neglect in the implementation process had to remain a serious setback to fulfilling the government’s commitment to ensuring adequate nutrition status for children in the country.
He identified reduced Gross Domestic Product, irreparable potential loss and increased access to communicable diseases as some of the effects of malnutrition
According to Auwal Ibrahim Musa, the existing ailing and under founded Primary Health Care Facilities in the country has hampered effort at achieving adequate and sustainable treatment and prevention of SAM at all levels.
The CISLAC Executive Director expressed concern over the dwindling funding for nutrition both at The National and state’s budgetary allocation, saying if not promptly addressed would lead to high child mortality in the country due to severe and acute malnutrition, SAM.
In an overview presentation, CISLAC Program’s officer Murtala Muhammed said the organization was determined to strengthen accountability in utilization of funds for nutrition to ensure children suffering from severe acute malnutrition receive treatment and enjoy their fundamental rights to Life
In a good will message, speaker Gombe State House Of Assembly Abubakar Sadiq Ibrahim commended CISLAC for organizing such a timely event and plegded to Fastract effort to ensure adequate legislation toward addressing the challenges of SAM in the state.
The climax of the legislative summit was a presentation by state nutrition officers of the five northern states including Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Gombe and Bauchi on their interventions, strategies, challenges and the way forward.