From UANGBAOJE ALEX, Kaduna
As part of measure to improve on efforts being made to change the nutrition status of children and women in Kaduna State from its high level of malnourishment to globally accepted level, the state Primary Health Development Agency (KDSPHA), in partnership with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), at the weekend held a one day Task Force Meeting with Stakeholders on Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM), and Community Infant and Young Child Feeding Practice (C-CIYF).
The essence of the meeting according to Chinwe Ezeife, Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, is to ensure members of the taskforce are playing their roles effectively in as they delivers quality CMAM and c-CIYF services in their various institutions.
She added that it is also geared at mobilizing and sensitizing stakeholders on supervision, participation and ownership of the programme, to share with stakeholders, achievement recorded in their communities, also collect data from Nutrition Focal persons(NFPs) , to identify gaps and proffer solutions.
Officer In-Charge of UNICEF Kaduna Office, Dr. Idris Baba, who was represented by Adamu Ndagi, in his goodwill message, noted that despite compelling evidence that breastfeeding and improved complementary feeding contributes to improved child-survival and development and overall nutritional status of children, but Nigeria is slow in its improvement.
As a result, he said Nigeria is still among the world’s highest child mortality rates and stunting prevalence as well as some of the lowest rates of recommended IYCF indicators.
While calling on participants to the play the roles expected of them, Dr. Baba, reiterates UNICEF continues commitment in working with the government towards improving the nutrition outcomes, especially of the vulnerable group I.e women and children.
In his remarks, Acting Executive Secretary (ES), KDSPHA, Muhammad Auwal Waziri, who represented the ES, pointed out that nutrition is the third prong priority of the state government, in addition to Universal Health Coverage and immunization.
He therefore, changed participants to come up with workable solutions on ways to improve the quality of the CMAM and (C-CIYF implementation, and to also find a way of reducing the issue of defaulters to its barest minimum.
Reacting to the reason while people default in coming back to health facilities after they have been registered in various communities, District Head of Dura in Jabba Local Government Area (LGA), Iliya Bako, blamed focal persons for not contacting traditional rulers in the communities when such intervention programmes are ongoing.
He said reporting noncompliance to traditional rulers for intervention will go a long way in addressing the issue of defaulters.
The Traditional rulers noted that health department are the live wire of all LGAs and the, but regretted that funding has been the major challenge militating against the survival of LGAs.
130 participants drawn from 13 LGAs, of Birni-Gwari, Chikun, Igabi, Jaba, Jama’a’ Kachia, Kajuru, Kaduna South, Kaduna North, Lere, Makarfi, Zango-Kataf and Zaria including traditional rulers were in attendance.