Kaduna Govt develops operational plan for quality nutrition interventions in LGAs

The Kaduna State Government has begun the development of 2022 Annual Operational Plan (AOP), for Local Government Committee on Food and Nutrition, to improve the quality of nutrition intervention at local level.

The Permanent Secretary, Planning and Budget Commission (PBC), Mrs Umma Aboki, stated this at the opening of a two-day workshop to develop the AOP, in Zaria on Tuesday.

Aboki said that the workshop was organised by the Planning and Budget Commission, with support from UNICEF, Alive and Thrive (FHI 360), Accelerating Nutrition Result in Nigeria (ANRiN) and Save the Children International.

The permanent secretary, who was represented by the Director, Development Aid Coordination, PBC, Mr Salisu Lawal, said that the AOP would be developed using the Kaduna State Multi-sectoral Strategic Plan of Action on Nutrition (KDMSPAN).

She reiterated the commitment of the State Committee on Food and Nutrition to improve the nutrition situation of women and children in the state.

She said that the state government would strengthen collaboration with development partners and relevant stakeholders, including Local Government Areas (LGAs), to improve nutrition intervention in the state.

She thanked UNICEF, Federal Ministry of Health, ANRiN and other development partners, for supporting the state government with several nutrition interventions, including Micro-Nutrient Powder initiative (MNP).

The permanent secretary noted that investing in cost-effective and high impact interventions would reduce the incidence of malnutrition in the state.

The Deputy Director, Development Aid Coordination, Mrs Priscila Dariya, said that the objective of the workshop was to develop and cost the 2022 AOP and agree on implementation modalities.

Dariya added that the workshop was also organised to review implementation of nutrition activities in 2021.

The facilitator of the workshop, Dr Zainab Muhammad-Idris, Project Coordinator, ANRiN, described AOP as a detailed set of day-to-day activities to be carried out to achieve set goals and objectives.

Muhammad-Idris said that the AOP would be based on evidence from past achievements, lessons learned, and analysis of implementation gaps of each LGA, in line with the state Nutrition Policy and KDMSPAN.

She said that ANRiN, a World Bank-supported project, was designed to increase uptake of quality, cost-effective nutrition services for pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls, and children under five years in the state.

Dr Zakari Adam, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Kaduna, commended PBC for prioritising AOP at local government level where nutrition interventions were being implemented.

Adam, who was represented by the UNICEF Nutrition Specialist, Mrs Chinwe Ezeife, said that the AOP would help in articulating key interventions that would create the desired results.

He also commended the Kaduna State Government for the commitment to scale-up the MNP initiative, and pledged continued technical support.

“UNICEF is happy with this laudable milestone and remains committed to providing technical support to improve the nutrition wellbeing of women and children in Kaduna state.

Ms Amable Olukotun, of Save the Children International, commended the government for the laudable efforts to address the scourge of malnutrition through strategic planning.

Similarly, Mrs Sarah Kwasu, State Team Lead, FHI 360, expressed confidence that the LG Nutrition Focal Persons would play a critical role in addressing malnutrition in LGAs.

Mr Umar Bambale, Project Manager, Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan, said that the operational plan would ensure the implementation of strategic intervention in 2022, to address malnutrition at local government level. (NAN)