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Malnutrition among reproductive age women and children in Kaduna, worries CSOs 

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As malnutrition among reproductive age women and children continues to pose challenge to health and human development in Kaduna State, a  2-day meeting to strengthen advocacy skills and capacity of health and nutrition CSOs, media and government officials,  has begun in Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria.

Participants are identifying areas of Priorities in nutrition interventions to develop action plans for prompt implementation in the State.

Organised by Civil Society – Scaling Up  Nutrition In Nigeria, CS-SUNN ,  the event is aimed at strengthening nutrition collaboration among CSOs/Media, harmonising nutrition  asks with CSOs and media health/nutrition coalitions and developing a strategic and achievable advocacy action plan.

Addressing the participants, Nutrition Officer in  the State Primary Health Care Development Board, Mrs. Ramatu Musa announced that a total of 21,265 malnourished children were so far admitted  between January and September this year with a record of 124 deaths .

Ramatu who was represented by the Evaluation Officer at the Board, Jibrin Isah  said, 15,329 were cured, while 2, 128 defaulted.

 264 others remained unchanged after treatment at Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) centres within the same period under review.

In order to cope with the situation, the Nutritionist said the centres were increased from 10 in two LGAs in 2017 to the current 77 in 15 LGAs, while stabilisation centres were established in 17 General Hospitals including the Army Reference Hospital Kaduna for those children suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition .

He spoke further on government efforts at easing access to services.“We equally have 796 trained Community Volunteers, 45 in each LGA except Igabi with 63 and Kajuru 238 mobilising community members for optimal IYCF practices,” he said.

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“A total of 95,906 mothers, women, grandmothers, and men were reached with Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) messages by 904 support groups in the state.

“Out of the figure, 27,469 pregnant women were reached, 24,767 mothers of children less than six months of age, and 23,993 mothers of children six to 23 months.

“Others as 19,448 women of childbearing age, 12,762 grandmothers and 7,467 men, adding that 13,473 children under five years were referred to health facilities for treatment”, she explained.

Earlier, State Coordinator of Civil Society-Scaling up Nutrition (CS-SUNN) Silas Spencer Ideva, lamented that malnutrition among reproductive-age women and children continues to pose a major challenge to health and human development of the citizens of Kaduna State.

“Two of the most critical factors mitigating the impact of this commitment is the inadequate funding and coordination of required intervention plans which was why we are bringing stakeholders together to see possible areas of engaging the state government to do more.

“For example, each malnourished child required N24,000 to get IYCF and if you multiply that by the number of children currently on admission, you will see there is a need for serious budgetary provision for this course”, he noted.

CS-SUNN is currently working on Partnership for Improving Nigeria Nutrition Systems (PINNS) project aimed at strengthening the Nigeria nutrition systems in Kano, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Niger and Lagos the States

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