Kaduna State Govt. to deepen collaboration in fight against malnutrition – Official

The Kaduna State Government says it will deepen collaboration with relevant stakeholders to strengthen the fight against malnutrition.

Mr Salisu Lawal, the Director, Development Aid Coordination, Planning and Budget Commission (PBC), stated this on Thursday in Zaria at a two-day Third Quarter Review Meeting with government food and nutrition focal officers.

Lawal explained that the meeting was organised by PBC, with support from UN ’s Fund (UNICEF), to review progress, challenges and develop strategies for 2022.

He stressed the need for stronger collaboration among stakeholders implementing nutrition interventions, including development partners providing technical and financial support.

He said that the 23 government areas of the state and nutrition-line Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) were implementing various preventive and curative nutrition interventions.

He added that the interventions were being supported by UNICEF, Save the International, Alive and Thrive (fhi 360), Accelerating Nutrition Result in Nigeria (ANRiN), and Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria.

He also identified Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, as well as parents, caregivers and other community structures like Ward Development Communities and community volunteers as critical stakeholders in the nutrition space.

According to him, a strong collaboration among the stakeholders will significantly accelerate the attainment of the desired results in the fight against malnutrition.

“The state government has released a lot of funds in the last nine months for the implementation of various nutrition interventions, and received technical and financial support from stakeholders and development partners.

“Planning and Budget Commission will continue to deepen collaboration among critical stakeholders and strengthen coordination among partners for maximum result.”

Mrs Pricilla Dariya, Deputy Director, Development Aid Coordination, PBC, said that the objective of the review meeting was to review, update and document nutrition activities in the state.

She added that the meeting was also organised to identify challenges, opportunities, improve capacity of nutrition officers and coordinate nutrition interventions for optimal results.

Also speaking, Dr Zakari Adams, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Kaduna, reiterated UNICEF’s continued technical and financial support to ending malnutrition in the state.

Adam, who was represented by Mrs Chinwe Ezeife, Nutrition Specialist, disclosed that UNICEF would support the roll-out of Micronutrient Powder (MP) intervention in the state.

He said that the MP, fortified with minerals and vitamins, would strengthen the of highly nutritious complementary feeding to prevent malnutrition among children.

He also advised the Government Nutrition Focal Persons to ensure the integration of Infant and Young Child Feeding practices and Community Management of Acute Malnutrition to sustain service delivery.

Mr Umar Bambale, Project Manager, Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan (KADENAP) said that the state government was to ensure that every Primary Health Care centre had a nutrition services component and food demonstration corner.

He thanked UNICEF for supporting the state with MP intervention, which he described as “critical” to prevention of malnutrition.

Similarly, Mrs Sarah Kwasu, State Team Lead, Alive and Thrive (fhi 360), stressed the need for strengthening preventive interventions through enhanced community mobilisation and awareness creation. (NAN)