The Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala has inaugurated Anambra State Chapter of Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN).

He assured them that the State government through his ministry will collaborate with them to end malnutrition in the state.

The inauguration ceremony which held at the Ministry’s Conference Hall, Awka, on Monday, has a theme: “Nutrition, Sustainable Development Goals and Universal Coverage In Times of COVID-19 pandemic.”

Dr Okpala said that it was actually an honour and privilege to have the activity take place in the state. “I am surprised that NSN has not been established before now 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.

Dr Okpala, then, reminded the newly inaugurated executive of the arduous task ahead of them, urging them to be committed in the discharge of their duties.

“My prayer for you is that you will do exceedingly well, you will act beyond our expectations and you will take nutrition in Anambra and Nigeria to the next level.

National President NSN, Nigeria, Dr Bartholomew Brai urged the new team to work within the ambit of the Constitution of the association and to carry all members along.

Dr Brai commended the State Government for creating an enabling environment for the association and for assuring them of fruitful collaboration and support.

National Secretary of the association, Mr Chiaka Nkwoala, who performed the inauguration on behalf of the president, urged them to be steadfast and committed to their duties.

Chairman, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Anambra State Chapter, Dr Justina Okoli said that the inauguration was unique because of its nature.

Dr Okoli 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.

She noted that efforts were made in the past to form the organisation but without success and that present NSN Anambra was initiated in February 2020.

“Although, preparation for its inauguration was stalled by the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic. It’s more apt at the moment because COVID-19 has even thrown all its ugly effects threatening the lives of people with malnutrition.

The chairman said that human nutrition was a complex multifaceted scientific domain that dealt with how substances in foods provide essential nourishment for the maintenance of life.

“Nutrition combines the study of food choices, consumption the digestion and metabolism of foods into nutrients and the effects that the nutrients have on our physical social, mental and environmental wellbeing.

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.

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