Child Malnutrition in Nigeria

We are committed to changing the narrative on nutrition, one community at a time, in Nigeria and across the continent!

Global Overview

Childhood malnutrition remains a pressing issue globally, with over 148 million children under the age of five suffering from stunted growth due to poor nutrition.  In the 2023 Global Hunger Index, Nigeria ranked 109th out of 125 countries, indicating a serious level of hunger. The Global Index rate is based on four indicators: undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting, and child mortality.

This refers to the share of the population whose caloric intake is insufficient; 

This refers to the share of children under the age of five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition. Nigeria bears the weight of the world’s second-highest burden of stunted children, with a 31.5 percent prevalence rate above the global average of 19.9%.

This refers to  the share of children under the age of five who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition. Nigeria’s rates of severe wasting are among the highest in the world, with a 6.5% prevalence rate above the global average 4.6%.

This refers to the share of children who die before their fifth birthday, reflecting in part the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments. Nigeria’s child mortality rate is 11.7% above the global average of 3.7%.

The facts and figures on child nutrition in Nigeria are alarming and the consequences are too severe. Nigeria is also faced with a double burden of malnutrition, where undernutrition, including micronutrient deficiencies, exists alongside diet-related non-communicable diseases. According to UNICEF, an estimated 2 million Nigerian children endure the severe ordeal of acute malnutrition (SAM), yet only two (2)  out of every ten (10) affected children currently receive the vital treatment they urgently require. These issues highlight the urgent need for more awareness and intervention programs to address this critical issue. It is well established that children who receive proper nutrition during the first 1000 days are ten times more likely to overcome the most life-threatening child diseases.

The first 1000 days of life – the time through pregnancy until a child’s second birthday, offer a unique window opportunity for preventing undernutrition and its consequences in children. Poor nutrition during this time can lead to irreversible damage to the growing brain, body, metabolism, and immune system of children, which can limit their optimal growth potential. Contextual understanding of key child survival and nutrition practices during the first 1,000 days through pregnancy until a child’s second birthday is therefore paramount.

Our Approach

FeedUp Africa is dedicated to tackling malnutrition in low-income and rural communities through a holistic approach to maternal, infant, young child, and adolescent nutrition (MIYCAN).

We are guided by research evidence, ensuring we make the greatest difference where it’s needed most and breaking down barriers to directly support those who need it most.

Our approach is deeply rooted in the principle of meeting communities where they are to deliver evidence-based, targeted and sustainable nutrition interventions. Our community-led approach is designed and implemented based on collaboration with critical partner institutions and stakeholders across public and private sectors and civil society. We take actions that are driven by a four-fold objective crucial for meaningful impact:

the Urgency

for Change



Our Initiatives

Annual Child and Maternal Nutrition Awareness Outreach.

April marks the observance of Global Child Nutrition Month, a time when advocates worldwide join forces to prioritize and elevate children’s nutritional health. 

2024 launched FeedUp Africa’s inaugural annual Child and Maternal Nutrition Awareness Outreach. Held on Thursday, April 18th, in commemoration of the 2024 Global Child Nutrition Month, this maiden edition took place at the Ofada Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Obafemi Owode LGA, Ogun State. The urgent need for education on child and maternal nutrition is apparent, and FeedUp Africa is steadfast in its commitment to implementing impactful programs to combat malnutrition in Nigeria.

Ogun state:

Our nutrition awareness outreach at the Ofada PHC was timely and significant for child and maternal health in Ogun state and Nigeria. Integrated into the post natal care service of the PHC, we were able to directly engage mothers and caregivers and disseminate essential knowledge on child and maternal nutrition to over 30 beneficiaries present on the day. Our expert community nutritionist led a practical and interactive session to equip mothers and caregivers with vital knowledge on proper nutrition practices for their children under five years of age. Valuable insights on the importance of providing adequate nutrition during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, the significance of exclusive breastfeeding, the role of complementary foods, and the importance of micronutrients, among others, were shared and emphasized. Held in a familiar environment, the mothers were able to ask questions and raise the concerns they have which were well addressed. 

This impactful outreach was made possible through the invaluable support of the healthcare workers at the Ofada PHC, including nutrition stakeholders from the Obafemi Owode LGA. 

The primary healthcare system plays a pivotal role in addressing the prevalent challenges of malnutrition in Nigeria, and FeedUp Africa is committed to mobilizing essential resources and fostering partnerships to enhance maternal  and child nutrition health for PHCs in marginalized and underserved communities.

We are committed to changing the narrative on nutrition, one community at a time, in Nigeria and across the continent!