By Iliya Kure
Kaduna (Nigeria) — Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), a coalition of civil society groups advocating for improved policy on nutrition, has commended Kaduna State Government, in northern Nigeria, for including nutrition in its 2017 budgetary provisions.
Tuesday, Governor Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna state signed the 2017 budget amounting to N214.9 billion into law, which allocates N130 million for the procurement of therapeutic food and drugs for management of acute malnutrition.
In a statement, Coordinator of CS-SUNN in Kaduna, Silas Spencer Ideva, says, the allocation for nutrition is a demonstration of commitment that will go a long way in tackling malnutrition currently threatening the lives of children in the state.
“In tune with the proactive action of signing into law of the 2017 budget, and the plan of emergency nutrition intervention programme as an outcome of the 2017 budget, we exult the landmark achievement of this government,” says the statement.
On school feeding programme of 2015/2016 academic calendar, the statement quotes Ideva saying, “We Commend the effort of the government on the school feeding program which aim on improving the nutrition of children in public primary schools, costing the state about N1.1bn every month in the 2015/2016 session.
It says by the action, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, has demonstrated his administration’s resolve to tackle malnutrition headlong in Kaduna State through various intervention in 2016.
The statement also calls for the full implementation of Nigeria’s National Strategic Plan of Action for Nutrition (NSPAN), which it says will reverse the negative indices associated with malnutrition in the state, as well as catalyse economic development for the state in the nearest future.
“Against the backdrop of the current nutrition indices in Kaduna State with Stunting and wasting rate at 57% and 42% (2013 National Demographic Health Survey) respectively, the NSPAN seeks to reduce stunting by 20%, reduce low birth weight among new-borns by 15% and increase exclusive breastfeeding in the first sixmonths of infant life by 50%, if fully implemented,”
Nigeria approved the NSPAN in 2014, and is expected to run till 2019, when all states in the federation act in meeting up the national target.