Executive Director of Borno State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (BOPHDA), Dr. Sule Meleh, has attributed diabetes, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS to poor nutrition, which lacks capacity to boost immune system. He argued that availability and sustenance of vitamins and minerals the body requires in food constitutes balanced diet.
Meleh disclosed this on the sidelines of World Food Day (WFD) in Maiduguri, saying this year’s WFD with the theme: “Healthy Diets for a Zero Hunger World,” was apt and timely to overcome challenges of malnutrition, especially in Northern Nigeria.
“The decade long Boko Haram insurgency in the North East has had a devastating effect on food security, as its quantity, quality and availability continue to decline,” he said, adding that this has a devastating effect on the health of the population.
Meleh, who lamented that getting a healthy and nutritious diet has become a huge challenge, described healthy diet as presence of balanced nutrients in food consumed. “It maintains our well-being and protects us from various diseases, like diabetes, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. Communicable diseases get hold when there is inadequate nutrition to boost people’s immune system.
“Good nutrition in the first 1,000 days of life; taken during conception to the first years of life, is most vital for physical, mental development and well-being of individuals. This is the period of active brain development,” he said, adding that it requires appropriate nutrition to develop fully for the brain’s cognitive functions.
Meanwhile, Scientists have warned that climate change exacerbated by global warming may worsen the outbreak of Ebola, Monkeypox, Lassa fever, Yellow fever that have fruit bats, monkeys, mosquitoes, rats as animal hosts in countries not used to the killer viruses.
The scientists, who cautioned that global warming is beginning to push disease-ridden vectors inland, said zoonotic diseases – illnesses that spread between animals and humans – are becoming the “new normal.” They said over two thirds of all infectious diseases originate in animals including Ebola, Lassa fever, Monkeypox and West Nile virus, adding: “These diseases contribute to the global health and economic burden that disproportionately affects poor communities.
The experts in a study published in the journal Nature Communications, added that several countries that have never experienced Ebola, including Nigeria with 191million population, Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda were particularly at risk. The researchers suggested that in West and Central Africa, where outbreaks have traditionally clustered, outbreaks would happen more frequently and spread farther, via airlines, to previously unaffected areas within the next 50 years.
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