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7.3m Nigerian women, girls undernourished – UNICEF

A report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says undernourished teenage girls and women of reproductive age have increased to 7.3 million in three…

A report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says undernourished teenage girls and women of reproductive age have increased to 7.3 million in three years.

The report said the number of undernourished adolescent girls and women aged 15-49 years rose from 5.6 million in 2018 to 7.3 million in 2021 in Nigeria.

It said Nigeria was among the 12 hardest hit countries by the global food and nutrition crisis.

It said the situation would put women and newborn babies at risk.

UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said the nutrition crisis was pushing millions of mothers and children into hunger and severe malnutrition, warning that unless urgent action was taken, the consequences of malnutrition could last for generations to come.

“In Nigeria, 55 per cent of adolescent girls and women suffer from anaemia; while nearly half of the Nigerian women of reproductive age do not consume the recommended diet of at least 5 out of 10 food groups (grains and tubers, pulses, nuts and seeds, dairy, meat, poultry and fish, eggs, dark green leafy vegetables, other vitamin A rich fruits and vegetables, other vegetables and other fruits) according to the 2022 National Food Consumption and Micronutrient Survey.

“Inadequate nutrition during girls’ and women’s lives can lead to weakened immunity, poor cognitive development, and an increased risk of life-threatening complications – including during pregnancy and childbirth – risking mother’s lives, also, with dangerous and irreversible consequences for their children’s survival, growth, learning, and future earning capacity.”

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