Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



UNICEF introduces nutrition programme in Nigeria to combat child malnutrition

This is the northeastern Gombe state where UNICEF is training thousands of women to boost their families’ nutrient intake   -  
Copyright © africanews
Sunday Alamba/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved


In several Nigerian communities in the northeastern Gombe state, UNICEF is training thousands of women to boost their families’ nutrient intake.

Tubers and grains are grown in home gardens, allowing families to spend less on food, thereby alleviating chronic malnutrition afflicting the region, especially its children.

More than a dozen women gathered this week in the village of Poshereng, where they are learning at least 200 recipes they can prepare with crops like cassava, orange-fleshed sweet potato, maize and millet.

Hauwa Bwami, a 50-year-old widow and mother of five, nearly lost her grandson to kwashiorkor due to improper nutrition and lack of awareness. Now she grows enough nutrient rich food that sustains her family.

“I have my grandson, he was malnourished and suffered from kwashiorkor… UNICEF came and saw his condition. They taught me how to prepare food with sweet potatoes and soya beans so that he would not have Diarrhea. They taught us how to prepare nutritious food with vitamins,” Bwami told the AP while at the training.

Tucked in a semi-arid region with limited rainfall in recent years, the Kaltungo community is mostly made up of farmers with agriculture the only source of income for most families.

While malnutrition is generally slow to bring death, studies have also shown it weakens the immune systems over time and sometimes heightens the chance of death from other diseases.

In Nigeria, many malnourished children never even make it to the hospital before dying often because of a lack of money to afford treatment or because of a lack of health facilities in remote areas.

Africa’s population of more than one billion people is one of the most afflicted with malnutrition mainly due to conflict, climate crises and rising food prices. The continent accounts for one-third of the global burden and 13 of the 20 most affected countries, according to UN estimates.

View more