National Development: Organisation blames low usage of data for poor nutrition outcomes

The Nutrition Society of Nigeria has decried the low usage of data by stakeholders to enhance nutrition outcomes for national development.

Speaking at the Pre-conference workshop of the 50th Annual General Meeting and scientific conference of the society, in Kaduna, on Monday, the Chairman, Education Committee of the society, Prof. Afolabi Wasiu, lamented the low usage of generated data in improving nutrition in the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the conference is: ’’Improving Nutrition intervention outcomes in Nigeria, through evidence-based Nutrition data generation and dissemination’’, whilst the topic of the Pre-conference workshop is: ‘’Data Visualization and Management’’.

Wasiu noted the importance of data in the national development, saying that reliable data was required for planning, implementation, as well as monitoring and evaluation of programmes.

“We must, therefore, generate data and make it available, in a presentable and understandable manner to who will use it, particularly those in power, who are policy and decisions makers, for appropriate actions to be taken against malnutrition’’, he said.

He added that high-quality and relevant nutrition data was needed in understanding the progress made on reducing malnutrition and achieving nutrition targets.

”It is interesting to note that often times nutrition data is just not available and, when available, are fragmented and incomplete especially in developing countries”, he said.

He lamented that even when the fragmented and incomplete data was available, it becomes difficult for governments, development partners, and other nutrition stakeholders to access and use in monitoring ongoing efforts so as to allocate resources.

“This has served as an impediment to proper policy and programme design and development, leading to poor nutrition outcomes”, Wasiu said.

He restated the Nutrition Society of Nigeria’s commitment, as one of the stakeholders in the nutrition community, to ensuring high-quality nutrition data generation for national development.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the pre-conference activities were supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other unnamed sponsors, who provided funds through the   Nutrition Academia in Nigeria (ENAN)’’ project.

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