A lecturer with the Kaduna Polytechnic, Hajiya Safiya Aliyu says women are vulnerable to undernutrition due to the heavy workload and domestic responsibilities they are engaged in.
While presenting a paper titled: “linking nutrition and gender with the conceptual framework of malnutrition” at an ongoing two-day workshop organised by KADENAP for journalists in Zaria, Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria, she said when a woman suffers from malnutrition, it affects the child, from pregnancy to delivery.
According to her, ” food feeding practises for girls is more likely to be poorer than for boys due to social norms, saying, when food is in short supply, women and girls eat less, leaving more ration for men and boys”.
She however acknowledged that women who are educated or with resources are in a better position to provide care to the children and other members of the family.
She therefore urged journalist to advocate for women education which she said is crucial for income generation and behavioural change.
Her counterpart from the Kaduna State University, Dr. Ayodele Joseph also tasked journalists to set agenda for advocating the importance of good nutrition and reaching out to families affected.
“There must be passion from the journalists in unraveling things that will engineer progress, saying, we are at risk of losing destinies that would mold this country, he stressed”.
“Advocate health and nutrition behaviour such as promotion of breast feeding, hand washing and importance of safe drinking water and also influence families to dispel myths, taboos and urging them to adopt positive practices, he added”.
He further advised that disseminating information about government programmes enable better utilisation of services which should also be passed on to the public.
The lecturer emphasized that the over six million children under five who suffer stunted growth due to malnutrition was unacceptable, hence the need for media to be voracious in their approach.
He added that tradition may also be a challenge encountered while reporting malnutrition, because some hold on to myths and taboos which must be disabused from their minds.