As part of the State government’s efforts to put an end to malnutrition in the state, Dr. Vincent Okpala, the Commissioner for Health has inaugurated Anambra State Chapter of Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN).
The inauguration ceremony held at the Ministry’s Conference Hall, Awka, and had a theme titled: Nutrition, Sustainable Development Goals, and Universal Coverage In Times of COVID-19 pandemic.”
Dr. Okpala during the event spoke on how surprised he was that the NSN hadn’t been established before now in the state. He said: ” it is an honour and privilege to have the activity take place in the state. I believe this will be the first activity of NSN in Anambra, so we have a lot of nutrition experts in the state and nutrition is one of the key indices that we measure in health.
“Having a body like this will help us to achieve some of the milestones that we have been struggling within the state.
“It helps get extracts together, help us to set goals and work together toward achieving those goals, and what we noticed in the state is that people work in silos.’’
“One of the key things whenever nutrition is mentioned is that people do think about children under the age of 5 but that nutrition is not all about children of that category.
“The society is very caring for young ones and we want them to be well-nourished because we understand that if we meet with these indices it has a good socio-economic stability of the society.
“If we do not address nutrition in children very well it has a lot of implications in future because children will end up not achieving their potential when they grow up,” the commissioner said.
Subsequently, he admonished the newly inaugurated executive to brace themselves for the arduous tasks ahead of them, urging them to be committed in the discharge of their duties.
On his part, Dr. Bartholomew Brai also urged the new team to worm within the confines of the association’s constitution and most importantly, carry all members along.
Furthermore, he commended the State Government for creating an enabling environment for the association and also for assuring them of fruitful collaboration and support.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Justina Okoli, the Chairman, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Anambra State Chapter stated that the inauguration was unique because of its nature.
She explained that current prevailing health challenges occasioned by occurring Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), ignorance, poverty, poor feeding, and a lack of basic healthcare necessitated nutrition experts coming together in the state.
In addition, while efforts were put in place in the past to form the organization but without success, the present NSN Anambra was initiated in February 2020.
Members of the new executive are Chairman, Dr. Justina Okoli, Anambra State Nutrition Officer, Mrs. Uzoamaka Erike, and Rector Anambra State Polytechnic, Dr. Nneka Mefor.
Others are Mrs. Blessing Nomeh, Dr. Ngozi Eme, Dr. Ngozi Okoye, Dr. Ethel Onuorah, Mrs. Chinwe Okafor and Mrs. Ifeyinwa Ibekwe