USAID appoints Nollywood Actress Chioma Akpotha as Nutrition Ambassador

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has named Nollywood actress, Chioma Akpotha, as its maiden 'Goodwill Ambassador for Nutrition' in Nigeria. The partnership between Chioma and the agency is aimed at raising awareness about the critical issue of malnutrition, which affects millions of Nigerians, especially women and children, USAID stated on Thursday in Abuja. It explained that the partnership would leverage Chioma's genuine commitment to maternal, child health, nutrition, and influential platform, to inspire a nationwide movement towards better nutrition and health for Nigerians. 'Chioma embodies the essence of advocacy and activism. Her commitment to maternal health and child well-being is a calling. 'A calling to use her platform for the greater good, to amplify the voices of the voiceless, and to inspire action and change. 'We celebrate this partnership with Chioma Akpotha, which represents a milestone in our commitment to collaborate with the Nigerian people. 'Nutrition plays a v ital role in the overall health and development of Nigeria, especially for its young population. 'By harnessing and leveraging its talent, Nigeria can continue to chart a course towards greater prosperity and progress,' USAID Mission Director, Melissa Jones, said. She added that as the 'Goodwill Ambassador for Nutrition', Chioma had agreed to work to raise awareness about maternal health and child nutrition, promote healthy behaviors, and disseminate key nutritional messages. According to her, malnutrition remains a significant challenge in Nigeria, with severe acute malnutrition impacting 3.6 million children. She added that malnutrition also contributed to 50 per cent of all deaths among children under five years old. 'The prevalence of malnutrition among women, adolescents, and young children undermines community health and development. 'In collaboration with the Nigerian government and people, the U.S. government, through USAID, works to mitigate malnutrition. 'This is done by providing effective treatment for severe malnutrition, coordinating nutrition services, and promoting proven methods to support better nutrition, especially for mothers, infants, young children, and teenagers,' Jones said. 'I am honored to be USAID's inaugural Goodwill Ambassador for Nutrition in Nigeria. 'Maternal and child health is a cause close to my heart, and I am committed to using my platform to raise awareness and inspire positive change. Together with USAID, we can make a lasting impact on the lives of Nigerian families,' Chioma was quoted as saying. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that USAID leads international development and humanitarian efforts to save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help nations progress beyond assistance. It supports humanitarian assistance, health systems strengthening, transparent and accountable governance, basic education, and a more market-led, trade-friendly economy in Nigeria. Source: News Agency of Nigeria