Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area

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Fight against malnutrition enjoys public patronage, yields result in Ibeju-Lekki Local Government

Fight against malnutrition enjoys public patronage, yields result in Ibeju-Lekki

Mrs. Fajemirokun (middle), serving protein-rich meal made from locally available ingredients and vegetables; Mrs. Coker, Nutrition Officer, Ibeju Lekki LGA (right)

According to the 8th Secretary General of the United Nations, improved nutrition is the platform for progress in women empowerment, health, education, employment and poverty reduction; it can lay the foundation for peaceful and stable societies. Nigeria, however, has one of the highest burdens of stunted growth in the world. Undernutrition is a long standing problem with increasing visibility in Nigeria since the 1960s.

As a response to the ugly trend of malnutrition in Ibeju Lekki LGA of Lagos State, the Oladele Fajemirokun Foundation developed an intervention programme called the Sustainable Malnutrition Intervention (SMALINT) in collaboration with AIICO Insurance PLC.

Speaking at the food demonstration programme at the Awoyaya Primary Healthcare Centre, the Medical Officer of Health, Ibeju-Lekki LGA, Dr. Sola Tanimowo encouraged the mothers to adopt locally available, cost-friendly foods in improving the nutrition profile of their children.

On her part, Mrs. Abimbola Shobanjo, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, AIICO PLC, commended the Oladele Fajemirokun Foundation on the initiative. She spoke about the state of some of the malnourished children and the importance of this intervention at this stage of their lives. She further pledged AIICO’s commitment to sustaining the SMALINT programme and promised to co-develop complimentary initiatives that will ultimately improve the welfare of underprivileged communities. Mrs. Shobanjo urged other private sector organisations to promote such interventions that will make actual impact and meaning to low-income communities.

Mrs. Abimbola Shobanjo, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, AIICO PLC (left); Mrs. Lawumi Fajemirokun, Executive Director, Oladele Fajemirokun Foundation (Middle; and a beneficiary-mother and tailor, Mrs. Ajisafe at the Awoyaya Primary Healthcare Centre, Ibeju-Lekki.

The Executive Director of the Oladele Fajemirokun Foundation, Mrs. Olawumi Fajemirokun, thanked AIICO PLC for supporting the SMALINT programme, whilst revealing that 4 hitherto malnourished children had graduated within the first two-months of the intervention. Mrs. Fajemirokun further revealed that following the success recorded so far, the programme will be developed into an all year rolling programme in order to reach more malnourished children on the waiting list and sustain the progress made. She noted that besides the daily protein-based food provisions for malnourished children, the sensitization efforts of the SMALINT programme through food demonstration classes, community dialogue sessions and information hadnbills served as pre-emptive measures in the fight against malnutrition.

Speaking with our correspondents, the Programme Manager of the Oladele Fajemirokun Foundation, Mr. Kene Egbue revealed that there was a waiting list of malnourished children who desperately required such interventions especially around the riverine areas in Ibeju Lekki LGA. Mr. Kene Egbue informed correspondents that over 15 ward health chairpersons were consulted every month to review the programme and encourage a wider and more equitable reach. He noted that economic profiling of the mothers of graduating children was conducted in order to develop proper cushion for these families as well as to ensure that graduating children do not slip back into malnutrition

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