MALNUTRITION, HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA: A NEED FOR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND SOCIAL PROTECTION INTERVENTIONS

Noah Lumun Abanyam (PhD), Kingsley Chukwuma Nnorom (PhD)

Abstract


Food is composed of substances or nutrients required for proper functioning, maintenance and growth of the body. Adequate intake of the various classes of food in their right proportions is essential for proper growth and healthy life. However, absence of food or inability to take improper diet and absolute deficiency or excess of one or more nutrients could lead to retardation of human growth and development. This study is an investigation of Malnutrition and Human Growth and Development in Nigeria: A Need for community Engagement and Social Protection Interventions. Empowerment theory was considered in analyzing the study. The study found that malnutrition interferes with human functions and may result to death. Malnutrition, especially in the infants have a serious debilitating effects on brain development and function since the infected infants has smaller head (brain) size and much lower intellectual development (lower I.Q). It was recommended that government should embark on continuing modernization of agricultural sector in order to accelerate surplus qualitative food requirement for human’s healthy development. There is need for nutritional society of Nigeria, the government agencies like national orientation agency and other related bodies to engage members of the community and educate them on proper nutrition. The study concludes that government at all levels should make efforts with a view to improving the socio-economic standard of the people about proper food intake or diet since poverty and ignorance about improper diet constitute the underlying causes of malnutrition in Nigeria.


Keywords


Malnutrition, Human Growth, Development, Community Engagement, Social Protection Interventions

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