There have been a campaign aimed at dealing with protein deficiencies in the last few weeks – “Protein Challenge” is a Campaign by MediaCraft Associate, a Public Relations Consultancy Firm.
In continuation of the Campaign, the Protein Challenge Webinar Series 6 with the theme “The Case For a Protein-Centered National Nutrition Policy” was held on Thursday, November 26th, 2020.
The webinar was moderated by Mrs. Louisa Olaniyi, a multiple award-winning Broadcast Journalist, Tech enthusiast, TV host, and Head of Presentation Unit at RAVETV.
The keynote speech for the webinar was delivered by Dr. Adepeju Adeniran, a proficient clinician with over 15 years’ experience in the Nigerian health care delivery space.
The panelists include: Dr. Omadeli Boyo, a public health practitioner and Medical Director, Pinecrest Specialist Hospital, and Dr. Beatrice Oganah-Ikujenyo, Nutritionist and Chief Lecturer in the Department of Home Economics, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Oto/Ijanikin, Lagos.
In her keynote speech, Dr. Adepeju Adeniran posited that “nutrition is an essential part of health planning, whether this is at the individual level, domestic, subnational and national planning”
She mentioned pregnant women and their unborn children, people living with chronic diseases, children and elderly as part of those who are nutritionally vulnerable.
Talking about nutritional policy, Dr. Adeniran said nutritional policies are planning tools for general population optimisation (creating optimal response to population in need of nutrition) – “When we talk about about National-Scale Policies, every action are determined by the government”.
Looking at the food combination of Nigerians, Dr. Adepeju Adeniran said most Nigerian family usually take excess of carbohydrates with inadequate protein which usually lead to various health problems – according to her, average Nigerians usually exclude protein from their diets due to unavailability of food source, unaffordable food, knowledge of nutritional value etc.
Dr. Adeniran recommended that the following should be used as the framework to develop nutrition policy:
i. public education on protein consumption,
ii. government should be involved in food supply chain and food insecurity should be removed.
iii. people must be able afford the food, government should subsidise nutritious food.
As one of the panelists, Dr. Beatrice Oganah-Ikujenyo, a Nutritionist and Chief Lecturer in the Department of Home Economics, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Oto/Ijanikin, Lagos, made it known that protein is very important aspect of diet as well as booster to other classes of food.
Making his view known, Dr. Omadeli Boyo, a public health practitioner and Medical Director, Pinecrest Specialist Hospital said Nigeria has second highest burden with staunted growth in the world, according to him only two out ten children that are having staunted growth are reached by either the government or private bodies. Protein deficiencies should be a case of national concern, Dr. Boyo Said.
The trio of Dr. Adepeju Adeniran, Dr. Omadeli Boyo and Dr. Beatrice Oganah-Ikujenyo enjoined the government to look into, make and implement protein-centred national policy. Also, education of nutritionists should be taken more serious.