Group holds inaugural symposium on child nutrition

Ugonma Cokey, Lagos

A non-governmental advocacy group, the Media Centre Against Child Malnutrition (MeCAM) is partnering with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and Scale-up Nutrition Business Network (SBN), to boost information sharing on nutrition in Nigeria.

The partnership is a symposium taking place in Lagos on Friday.

The theme of the Symposium is “Malnutrition, child development and the media.”

The National Coordinator of Media Centre Against Child Malnutrition (MeCAM), Mr. Remmy Nweke, says the partnership would go a long way in scaling up media participation in the crusade to better the lots of Nigerians on nutrition with the right and accurate information.

According to him, the partnership would benefit child development and the role of media, in a developing economy like Nigeria.

He called on other stakeholders to emulate GAIN by partnering with MeCAM.

Nweke, who doubles as the Group Executive Editor at DigitalSENSE Africa Media, said that the leadership of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and Scale-up Nutrition Business Network (SBN) will discuss “Communicating Nutrition Messages to Stakeholders: Role of the Media.”

The GAIN and SBN team, would be led by Country Team Lead at GAIN and coordinator of SBN Nigeria, Uduak Igbeka alongside other experts with vast experiences on the subject matter.

The MeCAM National Coordinator quoted the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) as recently declaring that an estimated 12.9 per cent of Nigerians 190m population has been projected to be among some 5 million undernourished people in the world today.

According to him “MeCAM is resolute to use this symposium to not just draw public attention to the threat that malnutrition poses to the future of the country, but to also correct the impression that this menace is restricted to the poor. ”

UNICEF estimates that , at least 2.5m Nigerian children suffer from acute malnutrition (SAM), thus posing the danger of many of them being at risk of death unless properly treated with the  right information.

This situation, Nweke described as dangerous to the socioeconomic well being of the entire country.

MeCAM, is peopled exclusively by journalists, and mediapreneurs to push the narratives to save the Nigerian child from the danger of malnutrition through scaling up reporting and advocacy, among others.

About GAIN:
The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) is an independent non-profit foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland.

GAIN was developed at the United Nations (UN) 2002 Special Session of the General Assembly on Children and was founded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2002.

About SUN Business Network (SBN):
In 2010, the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement was launched to support national leadership and collective action to scale up nutrition in 2010.

SUN was convened by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and further supported by an Advisory Group comprised of senior business leaders, with the aim to reduce malnutrition in all its forms through mobilising business to invest and innovate in responsible and sustainable actions and operations.

To do this SBN provides a neutral platform to broker partnerships and collaboration between business and all actors on nutrition at national, regional and global level to support SUN Country plans.

About MeCAM:
Media Centre Against Child Malnutrition (MeCAM) Nigeria was founded Thursday, August 28, 2015, as a media advocacy group against child malnutrition and well-being, as well as to strengthen the agro-nutrition capacity and interest of its members professionally in contribution to nation building, especially in Nigeria and across the continent of Africa among developing countries of the world.

MeCAM is committed to showcasing successful and development efforts in the area of agro-nutrition for the benefit of mankind and for Africa emancipation from extreme hunger especially in children, women and society, centred on Goal 2 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Confidence Okwuchi