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Nestle launches “Live Strong with Iron” campaign to combat nutritional deficiency

Nestle Nigeria; one of the largest companies in Nigeria’s Fast- Moving Consumer Goods Industry ( FMCG) has launched its live strong with iron campaign, to combat nutritional deficiency in the country.

Nestle launched this campaign in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Nutrition Society of Nigeria, on April 7, in commemoration of the 2021 World Health Day.

Speaking at the campaign launch in Abuja, Wassim Elhusseini, managing director ( MD), Nestlé Nigeria, said, it is necessary to address the challenge of iron deficiency in Nigeria, seeing that it has continued to increase over time.

He said that the Nigeria Demographic Health Survey ( NDHS) in 2018 revealed that Nigeria has an alarming prevalence of Iron Deficiency, reaching 68 percent of children between age 6 and 59 months.

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Furthermore, 58 percent of women of reproductive age in Nigeria are anaemic, with at least a third of the anaemia attributable to iron deficiency.

He added that it is necessary to create awareness of and promote the consumption of locally available iron- rich and ironfortified foods in Nigeria

“The campaign aims to support government’s efforts to address iron deficiency given the high incidence in our environment, it also seeks to reach at least 50 percent of Nigerians with relevant information to increase awareness of iron deficiency, its impact and solutions,” he said.

He added that Nestle as a company fights iron deficiency by sustaining food fortification and providing adequate information for more informed nutrition choices.

Paulen Talen, minister of Women Affairs (MWA), said the campaign will accelerate the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3 which is good health and wellbeing, looking towards improving the health of millions of Nigerians.

She added that it will also positively impact the health and nutritional balance of many Nigerians especially women and children who are exposed to a higher risk of iron deficiency.

Talen who was represented by Anthonia Ekpa, permanent secretary MWA said, “globally, children and women are more at risk of iron deficiency and anaemia. Consumption of iron-rich foods, which are locally available and affordable, remains an effective means of addressing this challenge. We are committed to collaborating with stakeholders for the overall development of women and children in Nigeria,” she said.

Celebrated on April 7 every year, World Health Day aims to create awareness and highlight priority areas of health concerns. Given the high incidences of Iron deficiency and the attendant dire consequences, this remains a priority area of concern for Nigeria.

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