Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), an NGO, on Friday, launched a demand creation campaign to improve the consumption of egg among children age six to 59 months in Kaduna State.
The launch is in commemoration of the World Egg Day, marked on the second Friday in October to celebrate egg
farmers and promote the incredible edible egg.
The Day was founded by the International Egg Commission (IEC) at a conference held in Vienna in 1996 to promote
consumption and raise awareness on the benefits of egg to human health.
The GAIN Country Director, Dr Michael Ojo, said at the launching ceremony in Kaduna, that the campaign,
tagged “Eggs Make Kids”, targets over 210,000 households.
He said that the campaign would be carried out in Chikun, Kaduna North and Kaduna South local government areas of the state.
Ojo added that in spite of efforts to address the scourge of malnutrition, it remained a serious problem in the state because most children were not eating foods that contain the growth-promoting nutrients they needed.
According to him, animal source foods such as egg, meat and fish are mostly missing in the food children eat, adding that only 15.5 per cent of children between the age of six and 23 months consume egg in the state.
The director said “we are, therefore, working with Kaduna State and other partners to diversify the diet of children between six and 59 months by increasing animal source food consumption, particularly egg.
“Egg is nature’s most nutritious food because of its rich source of protein and essential fatty acids, including vitamins and minerals.
“One small egg for example has 13 vitamins, 11 minerals, all nine essential amino acids, omega-3, omega-6, as well as two carotenoids.
“Egg makes the body grow strong, helps the heart and brain to function well, builds strong bones and teeth and keeps the mind sharp and bright.”
He explained that the campaign would run for the next 18 to 20 months, using two-pronged marketing and communication approach.
He described the approaches as Above the Line campaign, using the mass media and Below the Line campaign, through direct engagement of households.
The country director said that the campaign would be carried out in partnership with Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan, Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) and other partners.
Ummi El-Rufai, wife of the Kaduna State Governor, who launched the campaign, thanked GAIN for supporting the state in the fight to address malnutrition.
She said that failure to eat the right nutritious foods could exposes children to myriad of health issues.
She added that the campaign was to disseminate key messages that would stimulate sustainable behavioural change, particularly on egg consumption in target communities.
According to her, intake of adequate animal source protein like egg and fish will contribute to better health outcomes for children.
Hajiya Binta Adamu, the Vice Chairperson of PAN, Kaduna State chapter, expressed readiness to partner with GAIN to ensure the success of the campaign.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mrs El-Rufai, along with other poultry farmers were awarded by
PAN at the event for promoting nutrition.