(June 2015) Each year about 1 million Nigerian children die before their fifth birthday. Malnutrition contributes to nearly half of these deaths. The multimedia presentation, Malnutrition: Nigeria’s Silent Crisis, presents the reasons why proper nutrition for women and children is so important, especially in the first 1,000 day period—from the start of a woman’s pregnancy until her child’s second birthday. This period represents a critical window of opportunity.  Adequate nutrition during this period can avert malnutrition, ensuring that children have the best possible opportunity to grow, learn, and rise out of poverty. The presentation also features the consequences of malnutrition, how investments in nutrition can improve health and economic outcomes, and which interventions are known to be most effective.

The chief purpose of this innovative tool is to strengthen support for nutrition as a priority health and development issue on national- and state-level policy agendas in Nigeria. The presentation can be used to educate, raise awareness about the consequences of a failure to act, and to mobilize political commitment and resources. Target audiences in Nigeria include high-level government policymakers, program officials, nongovernmental organizations, religious leaders, journalists, academics, district and community leaders, donors, and other global partners.

The multimedia presentation was produced under the auspices of the Division of Nutrition, Department of Family Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria, with guidance from a Working Group representing more than 35 public and private sector organizations, local and international NGOs, and donors.

Funding for Malnutrition: Nigeria’s Silent Crisis was generously provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation under RENEW (Re-energizing Nutrition-Expanding Worldwide), a global initiative that focuses on combating malnutrition in mothers and children (0-24 months) in developing countries. RENEW is designed to raise the visibility of this public health crisis, mobilize commitment and resources, and accelerate the implementation of proven and promising new approaches.

Malnutrition: Nigeria’s Silent Crisis is available with and without a voiceover, in English and Hausa. The presentation can be downloaded from the PRB website or streamed via PRB's YouTube channel in English and Hausa; CD-ROMs are also available on request. A presentation guide is available to provide facilitators with skills and resources to effectively deliver and lead discussion about the presentation.

For more information about Malnutrition: Nigeria’s Silent Crisis or to request a copy of the presentation and materials on CD-ROM, please contact Reshma Naik, 202-939-5456, rnaik@prb.org.