By Emmanuel Afonne
Food and beverage company Nestle Nigeria PLC, has kicked off a campaign to promote the intake of iron to address micronutrient deficiency and ensure healthy living.
Mrs Victoria Uwadoka, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Nestle Nigeria, said in Abuja at a stakeholder-engagement meeting with Ministry of Health and Ministry of Women Affairs and Child Development, on the need to take sufficient iron.
Uwadoka said that the stakeholder-engagement was to get the buy-in of major stakeholders in the “Live Strong With Iron” campaign, and to step-up awareness in at least 50 per cent of Nigerians as it relates iron deficiency.
She noted that the “Live Strong With Iron” campaign would be officially launched in Abuja on April 7, being the World Health Day, to drive behavioral change and ensure Nigerians adopt the habit of consuming foods with iron.
“At Nestlé, we are committed to enabling people to lead healthier, happier lives by continuously improving our products, providing affordable nutrition for everyone.
“Beyond delivering tasty and nutritious products to consumers, we work alongside stakeholders to build strong communities and supply chains while improving livelihoods in communities directly connected to our business activities.
“Our CSV focus areas in Nigeria include Nutrition Education, Building Thriving Communities, Youth Empowerment and Preservation of the Environment,” she said.
Uwadoka noted that available statistics in their possession showed that 68 per cent of children under-five years were Iron deficient, while 37 per cent were stunted.
Dr Mrs Anthonia Ekpa, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs who received the Nestle Nigeria team on behalf of the minister Mrs Pauline Tallen, said the ministry considered healthy living and the development of the girl-child.as a priority.
Ekpa urged Nestle to develop a policy to make it a national project for a greater reach.
“We also address the need of the girl child especially those entering the stage of menstrual circle.
“We collaborate with ministry of water resources, and now, we have seen what we neglected (campaign on iron intake) which we will add.
“We will introduce it to our women development department and we will partner with Nestle Nigeria to do advocacy on this.
“But we will identify serious Civil Society Organisation that we can use to develop a plan.”
The team was also received at the Ministry of Health by the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Abdulaziz Mashi. (NAN)