A Child’s Right To Adequate Nutrition:

It is no doubt that adequate nutrition promotes good health for every living being. For children it is even more critical as globally, more than one third of child deaths are attributable to undernutrition. Undernutrition is an important underlying cause of illness and death in Africa especially among women and young children – probably contributing to more than half the deaths among under five year olds.


The result of undernutrition is that growth slows down, common childhood infections last longer and are more frequent and serious. Undernourished children are at high risk of permanently stunted growth and development. The period during which undernutrition has the most severe consequences {often cannot be fully reversed} is from conception until the age of two years.

Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce mortality in infants and young children. Initiating breastfeeding within the first day after birth lowers mortality, even in exclusively breastfed infants.  Undeniably exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months followed by appropriate complementary feeding practices, with continued breastfeeding for up to 2 years or beyond, provides the key building block for child survival, growth and healthy development. This is also the infant and young child feeding practice recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Following the provisions of the UN Declarations on child’s right and Nigeria’s Child Rights Act, the human right to adequate food and nutrition more especially breastfeeding needs to be interpreted for the special case of young children because they are vulnerable. More so because others make the choices for them by influencing their feeding even though their diets are not diverse.




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