In Nigeria, 11 million children (37%) are stunted, 26 million (70%) suffer from anaemia and 30% are vitamin A deficient. Previously, micronutrient deficiency control (MNDC) was not prioritized, lacked policy framework, efforts were limited, fragmented and ad hoc.
Intensive advocacy and monitoring activities were implemented to move the agenda of USI, the Government initiated the biannual Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Weeks (MNCHW) to deliver Vitamin A capsules and other critical interventions in 2010 (approved by the National Health Council) and efforts were supported to develop national policy and enhance institutional framework .
At the policy front, an integrated micronutrient guideline and a 5 year national nutrition plan was developed, in which 7 out 10 interventions are micronutrient. Nigeria is one of the first few countries to attain USI goal. Twelve rounds of MNCHW campaigns has been conducted so far and vitamin A supplementation coverage has increased from 26% in 2010 to 47% in 2015. Since its inception, 224 million children have been reached with vitamin A, 73 million children with deworming and 29 million pregnant women with iron supplements. The coverage of iron supplementation during pregnancy has increased from 41 % in 2008 to 58% in 2013. Nigeria has also started MNP distribution linked with IYCF promotion and bio fortification.
The success of MNDC in Nigeria can be attributed to advocacy to ensure highest level of political and institutional commitment, strong partnership between Government and partners with collective vision. The focus for Nigeria now is universal coverage with equity so that no child is deprived, efficiency with innovations in programming and sustainability with enhanced Government funding.