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The Role of Fish in Improving Child Nutrition in Nigeria
The objective of this paper is to create awareness, and stimulate the need for proper evaluation and utilization of fish as a means of reducing the level of child malnutrition in Nigeria and other developing nations. The paper discussed thoroughly the trends in child malnutrition, causes of malnutrition in children which include incidence of poverty, high level of illiteracy, expensive food products, prevalence and dominance of ignorance, mostly between mother and child were critically analyzed. Also, the deleterious effects of malnutrition in children such as retardation of child cognitive development, increase susceptibility to disease and sickness, reduction of productivity and high infant mortality were clearly elucidated. Furthermore, the paper revealed the importance of fish in the child nutrition, as an accessible and affordable source of protein to the majority of poor people living in Nigeria. The nutritional value of fish in terms of both protein and micronutrient in child development were clearly pointed out. Lastly, the role of fish in improving child nutrition was outlined as a major and cheaper source of protein which is needed highly by children for rapid growth and repair of worn out tissues. Fish also supply minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids which are needed by children for growth and proper development. The issue of nutrition is very imperative, crucial and carnal to the survival of any country, most especially at infant level, therefore, there is the need to harness the potential of dietary consumption of fish as a veritable tool in reducing the level of malnutrition in Nigeria and other developing countries.