The Federal Government has launched the use of mobile phones to circulate nutrition information in the country.
This is in an effort to improve health and nutrition of pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers in Nigeria,
The programme which is tagged “mNutrition” is a process of using mobile technology to send text messages to Nigerians with a view to expanding access to health and nutrition services.
Speaking while launching the programme, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said that the programme was a step towards achieving Universal Health Coverage(UHC).
He explained that mNutrition Programme was aimed at leveraging on mobile technology to scale up health and nutrition outcomes in Nigeria.
According to him, malnutrition was known to slow economic growth and perpetuate poverty by reducing children’s brain development, their ability to learn, and be productive citizens during their adult years, stressing that malnourished children learn less in school and were more likely to drop out of school and eventually earn less as adults.
He further explained that most malnutrition happens in the first 1000 days of a child’s life- from conception to child’s second birth day and the damage caused at that period is irreversible.
Speaking on Integrating Mobile Telecommunications into Nutrition Programme in Nigeria, the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said that nutrition was a key factor in the reduction of high maternal and child mortality.
He noted that reduction of child mortality and morbidity due to malnutrition could be achieved through coordinated efforts by all stakeholders to increase coverage and access to nutrition services such as special attention to women during pregnancy, promotion of health education as well as improve infant and young children feeding.