By Chimezie Godfrey
Jigawa Governor, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, has assured that his administration will continue to sustain prevention and treatment of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), through constructive synergy and enhanced working relation with the civil society groups.
According to a statement made available to Newsdiaryonline on Monday, Abubakar gave this assurance during a courtesy visit by a group of CSOs, led by Civil Society Legislative Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC).
He called for an immediate technical meeting between the State Government and Civil Society groups to be led by CISLAC.
This, he stressed is primarily to develop a comprehensive work plan with SAM preventive and curative strategy for implantation.
“This is why we operate participatory budget for exhaustive consultation and input of the public including Civil Society groups.
“The technical meeting will identify yet-to-reach Local Government Areas in the state for extensive coverage of Community-based Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) activities,” he said.
The Governor recounted some ongoing preventive measures initiated by the state government towards addressing SAM, including regular community sensitisation and awareness as well as micro-credit scheme to promote agricultural productivity.
He disclosed that the state is currently planning to mainstream cluster farming into agricultural activities in the state through capacity building and sustained empowerment services to farmers.
He also added that ss part of the effort towards the prevention SAM that they will integrate nutrition as part of cluster farming.
Earlier during the visit, Chioma Kanu, Programme Manager (Health and Social Inclusion), CISLAC, commended the State Government for the implementation of Social Protection Policy and Food and Nutrition Policy as part of the efforts to address malnutrition challenges in the state.
“We are not unaware that in the 2020 Appropriation Act, 100 million naira was allocated for the procurement of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) in Jigawa State, in addition to 150 million naira dedicated by State House of Assembly in their constituency project, primarily to avert dreaded impacts of stock-out of RUTF across CMAM facilities,” she stated.
According to Kanu, sustained CMAM activities remains paramount to complement existing efforts at enhancing preventive and curative measures against Severe Acute Malnutrition in Jigawa state.
She called on the State Government to prioritize integration of RUTF as part of Essential Medicine List in the state, to ensure sustained treatment of existing SAM cases in the state; ensure extension of CMAM intervention to yet-to-reach Local Government Areas in Jigawa State to ensure adequate coverage and mitigate reported default cases.
Kanu also advocated coordinated multi-sectoral approach to financing nutrition through constructive synergy and integrated nutrition budgetary allocation and service delivery across the line Ministries, Departments and Agencies with adequate budgetary allocation, cash-backing and timely release of nutrition fund to ensure sustained intervention.
“We call on the State Government to increase recruitment of nutritionists to effectively administer nutrition care; with adequate training and retraining programmes for health care workers at Primary Health Care to ensure efficient service delivery on nutrition care at grassroots level.
“Also promoting integrated farming, value innovation and re-orientation in traditional agriculture production will promote standardisation for healthy consumption,” she stated.