By Ndidichukwu Odoh
A Lawmaker in the Nigerian House of Representatives, Barrister, Onofiok Luke. Honourable Member representing Etinan/Nsit Ibom/Nsit Ubium in Akwa Ibom State has called for improved commitment by all stakeholders in Nigeria to combat micronutrient deficiency among women and children
Onofiok, said it is important for Nigeria to consider supplies of Micronutrient supplements at all health facilities as one of the key health priorities, that will help improve livelihoods and end malnutrition in children and pregnant mothers.
He made this call while delivering his goodwill message at the Partnership meeting of Nigerian stakeholders working with Vitamin Angels-a charity that provides nutritional support to malnourished children and women in the U.S. and around the world.
Onofiok who was announced the Nigeria Vitamin Angels champion, committed to be the voice for women and children by ensuring that ending micronutrient deficiency becomes a health priority in Nigeria
“As a champion I will engage my colleagues who are medical doctors, nutritionist or dieticians at the National Assembly. With what we are able to agree and come up, we will put resources together to make sure that we become a voice especially for the young people using the school feeding program to ensure that the multivitamin component is factored into the school feeding program” he said
Vitamin Angels have chosen Akwa Ibom state as one of its intervention states in Nigeria, to this, Onofiok committed to work with stakeholders to ensure that the vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom benefit for the program
The lawmaker said, “I am going to mobilize all the health professional groups in Akwa Ibom to partner and see how we can ensure that this efforts benefits all those that will be needing it in my state, by doing this, we will also ensure that health facilities are giving to pregnant mother the multivitamins they require during antenatal days”
“Health Care is one of the ways to give back to the people every decision and policy maker in Nigeria must aligned with the partners and see what we can give to our people without cost, this way we are putting together the things we need to improve health and reach Universal Health Coverage for all in Nigeria” said Onofiok
In his remark, Coordinator of Vitamin Angels in Nigeria, Dr. Francis Ohanyido commended the lawmaker for the commitment to the voice for women and Children and went further to say that Vitamin Angels have reviewed the many benefits of prenatal supplementation for both mothers and children in Nigeria and are committed to ensure that suppliments are made availabe at all health facilities.
“Through the supplements given to pregnant women, like iron and folic acid (IFA) there is a significant reduction in the occurrence of low birth weight among newborns and maternal anemia and iron deficiency in Nigeria” Ohanyido said