Nigeria’s First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has called on the Private Sector, particularly manufacturers of drugs and Food/Beverages Companies to a make commitment of producing the Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) locally in Nigeria in order to make it more accessible everywhere in a bid to finally end Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in the Country.
She spoke during an interactive session with stakeholders from the Private Sector and relevant government organizations at the State House, Abuja on Monday.
The event was organized by the Aisha Buhari Foundation (ABF).
Aisha Buhari called on the Federal and State Governments to ensure, through the enactment and operationalization of policies, that they provide support to local production and procurement of RUFT in Nigeria.
Participants at the session including development partners such as UNICEF, took turns to give account and statistics of Nigerian children suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
They narrated that about 2.6 Nigerian children fall into this category every year, with 1 in 5 dying; while those that survive do not live to their full physical and mental potential, except when treated with RUTF.
They also highlighted the efforts being made to manufacture fully made in Nigeria RUTF.
The First Lady noted that it is time for Nigeria to end the scourge of Severe Acute Malnutrition in Nigeria by ensuring that RUTF is available in the shelves of every pharmaceutical store.
She finally called on all stakeholders to work towards meeting up with standards that demonstrate the Nation’s resourcefulness as a people and its natural endowments.
The wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo commended the First lady for her steadfastness in the fight against all forms of child malnutrition in Nigeria.
Also speaking on the occasion, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire noted that the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had already started working alongside the recommendations of the First Lady through the administration’s policy of “Eat what You Grow”.
He also called for more awareness as he observed that malnutrition was not always a question of poverty but also of ignorance as sometimes parents do not know what to give their children to ensure they get the required nutritional content.