KDSG, UNICEF strengthen community sensitisation for optimal infant feeding

The Kaduna State Government, supported by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has trained critical stakeholders in Community-Infant and Young Child Feeding (-IYCF) to strengthen community sensitisation and mobilisation for optimal infant feeding.

The state’s Nutrition Officer, Mrs Ramatu Musa, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Thursday.

She said that a of 164 workers and community members were trained on -IYCF in and Kauru local government areas of the state.

According to her, the goal is to prevent malnutrition among women and under five children.

She said that 32 workers, 45 Community Volunteers (CVs) and five Ward Development Community Chairmen in each of the LGAs were trained to strengthen -IYCF at community level.

She said that the local governments were among the three additional areas that UNICEF was supporting to prevent malnutrition among women and children.

The nutrition officer said that the state government was strengthening preventive interventions against malnutrition, adding that -IYCF was a proven strategy to prevent malnutrition.

She thanked UNICEF for the support which she described as “timely” considering the high number of malnourished children in the state LGAs due to insecurity and other factors.

“IYCF comprises initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive for six months and complementary feeding and is a proven preventive measure against malnutrition.

“I thank UNICEF for supporting us to train critical stakeholders, such as the workers, community members and volunteers for effective community sensitisation on adequate IYCF practices,” she said.

Also, Dr Bossan Amos, Secretary, LGA thanked UNICEF for the intervention, pointing that insecurity had worsened the malnutrition problem in the LGA.

Amos told NAN that the training had improved the capacity and knowledge of the workers, community volunteers and ward development communities on -IYCF.

“The workers and the community members are now equipped with the needed skills and capacity to effectively sensitise, counsel and mobilse mothers and caregivers on adequate C-IYCF practices.

“I am confident that we will see the impact in the next six months if we all do our job right,” he said.

Similarly, the Nutrition Focal Person, LGA, Mrs Jummai Hamza, explained that the infant and young child feeding programme was being implemented in the LGA but at the facility level.

She stressed that the extension of the IYCF to community level would go a long way in sensitising mothers, caregivers and community members on how to use locally available food items to prevent malnutrition.

“This will strengthen community sensitisation and mobilisation for optimal C-IYCF, to prevent malnutrition among children under five years,” she added. (NAN)