Stakeholders in the health sector including journalists who cover the sector have reiterated the need for governments at all levels to take ownership of the fight against Severe Acute Malnutrition through increased budgetary provision. They made the demand during a virtual meeting organized by the International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH) in collaboration with other organizations involved in the fight against SAM.
At the SAM advocacy lessons learnt dissemination event, the executive Director of ISMPH, Dr. Moji Makanjuola noted that government must be responsible to the yearning of the average Nigerians through making health care services available and avoidable to the people at the grassroots to end the problem of SAM. Making a remark at the event, the president, Association of Nigeria Health Journalists ANHEJ, Hassan Zaggi says “even though SAM is still a very serious issue in Nigeria, one good thing we must admit is that, because of the collective efforts of the Consortium and the media, governments at all levels and policy makers in the country are now AWARE that we have a problem in our hands.
To us, this is an achievement, because the first step to solving a problem is identifying that it exists’. ‘On behalf of the journalists covering the health sector, I call on the governments at all levels to take ownership of the fight against SAM through increased budgetary provision. This is crucial and important’. ‘The federal government must support and encourage home-grown solutions to SAM, especially the production of Ready to Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) from local raw materials’.
‘Our research institutes must wake up to the challenge by making efforts at finding simple remedies to SAM in the country’. ‘As health journalists, we will continue to support and work together with all partners who have shown interest in fighting and ensuring that SAM is conquered in Nigeria”.