In a pivotal move to safeguard the health and longevity of individuals, the Network for Health Equity and Development (NHED), a dynamic coalition of Civil Society Organisations, convened in Abuja on Tuesday to sound a clarion call on the dangers of excessive salt (sodium) intake.

Dr. Jerome Mafeni, NHED Director and Project Adviser for the Campaign for Reduction of Salt in Nigeria(CSRN), delivered a compelling message, emphasizing the critical impact of high salt intake on human lifespan. He revealed shocking statistics, stating that Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) such as hypertension, heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke accounted for 32% of global deaths in 2019, totaling a staggering 18 million lives lost.

To combat this alarming trend, the coalition has launched a comprehensive campaign against excessive salt intake, uniting CSOs and non-state actors at both national and international levels. Dr. Mafeni expressed the coalition’s commitment to reducing salt consumption, urging Nigerians to limit their intake, particularly from commercially produced foods, to less than 5 grams.

“We are embarking on a multifaceted strategy, utilizing both traditional and digital media to reach a vast percentage of Nigerians. Despite limited resources, we are determined to make a substantial impact on public awareness,” stated Dr. Mafeni.

The coalition is not stopping there; it is actively involved in advocating for a draft Bill pending at the national assembly, aiming to legislate against excess salt intake. Collaborating with key entities like the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Federal Ministry of Health, NHED is poised to effect real change.

Mrs. Joy Amafah, In-Country Coordinator for the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), affirmed their commitment to advocating for public health policies aimed at reducing Cardiovascular diseases. Joining the chorus, Mrs. Tessy Maina, NHED Communication Specialist, called upon the media to champion the cause and amplify the message of reducing salt intake among the Nigerian populace.

In conclusion, with the synergy of NHED’s coalition, government bodies, and passionate advocates, the campaign against excessive salt intake we gain significant momentum. The media is urged to play a pivotal role in spreading awareness, thereby contributing to increased life expectancy and a healthier Nigerian society. Together, we can make a difference! #SaltReduction #HealthyChoices

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