" ITREALMS: Nigeria loses $1.5bn on GDP to vitamin deficiencies

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Nigeria loses $1.5bn on GDP to vitamin deficiencies

Due to lack of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, Nigeria is annually losing over $1.5 billion, an estimated N459.3 billion, in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) according to the World Bank, reports ITRealms.

This, ITRealms gathered, is coming as Nigeria needs some $912 million to tackle the malnutrition menace, especially on children, just as World Bank ranks Nigeria’s Human Development Index (HDI) at 158 out of the 182 countries, whereas life expectancy stood at 48 years.
According to the latest Nutrition at a Glance released by the World Bank and made available to ITRealms, annually, “Nigeria loses over US$1.5 billion in GDP to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.” Stressing that scaling up core micronutrient interventions will cost less than US$188 million per year.
World Bank also said that over one-third of child deaths in Nigeria are attributed to undernutrition, mostly from increased severity of disease.
ITRealms also reports that children who are undernourished between conception and age two, are at high risk for impaired cognitive development, which adversely affects the country’s productivity and growth.
The economic costs of undernutrition, ITRealms reports, include direct costs such as the increased burden on the health care system, and indirect costs of lost in productivity.
“Childhood anemia alone is associated with a 2.5 per cent drop in adult wages,” World Bank group said.
Nigeria, World Bank said, is the country with the 3rd highest absolute number of children who are stunted, however, Nigeria has achieved near universal salt iodization as 97 per cent of households consume iodized salt.
“This is a major factor in preventing iodine deficiency, which can cause Intelligent Quotient (IQ) loss in infants and young children. Nigeria should be commended for this achievement and universal salt iodization is important to continue,” part of the report read.

Chuks Egbune/GEE
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