The Kaduna State Government and stakeholders on Tuesday figured out a plan on ways to tackle nutrition impediments and food poisoning in Kaduna state.
Speaking, the Permanent Secretary of the Kaduna State Planning and Budget Commission (PBC) Bashir Muhammad, said that the meeting with stakeholders and partners was organised to ensure maximum productivity and commitment by nutrition stakeholders towards ensuring optimal development of women and children in the state.
Muhammad who is the Chairman of the committee for Food and Nutrition, said Kaduna State has one of the highest burden of malnourished children.
He said that the state government was passionate on delivering quality nutrition services that would prevent malnutrition in the State.
”Food poisoning is a concern and has dwindled the efforts of ensuring nutrition in the state.
”At the end of the meeting, a committee would be constituted within the nutrition stakeholders in the state to come up with policies that would regulate food handling, processing and other activities.
”Nutrition is critical to human capital development and multi sectoral, as such needed much attention for overall development of the state,” he said.
He said that the meeting would also provide an opportunity to review the 2021 performance and develop strategies for effective implementation of the 2022 nutrition annual operational plan.
Also speaking, the Director, Development Aid Coordination, PBC, Malam Salisu Lawal, said that treatment of malnourished children was capital intensive and all inclusive.
The meeting, Lawal said, should ensure all vacuums hampering results in nutrition activities in the state are filled.
He called on stakeholders to perform optimally and ensure achievements of their goals for the year.
In her contribution, Mrs Sarah Kwasu, the State Team Lead Alive and Thrive said the NGO has outlined strategies to enhance child health and development outcomes in saving lives in Nigeria through sustainable national programme of optimum Maternal, Infant and Young Child Feeding Nutrition (MIYCN) Campaign.
“We will optimise our current health system delivery platforms to increase the coverage of MIYCN interventions in the state and leverage on the existing and evolving PHCs and other mechanisms to enhance them,” she said.
Dr Zainab Muhammad-Idris, Project Coordinator, Accelerating Nutrition Result in Nigeria (ANRiN Project), reiterated the project’s continued partnership with the state government to improve the nutritional status of children under five years, adolescents, pregnant and lactating mothers.
She said the meeting was very critical in the fight against malnutrition in the state, noting that the multi-sectoral approach was a viable way of tackling the scourge of malnutrition in the state.
In her contribution, the State Nutrition Officer, Mrs Ramatu Musa, said that 13,581 out of the 24,955 malnourished children admitted in various Community Management of Acute Malnutrition Centres, had been treated between January and September.
Musa said that 47 children were lost to the disease; 9,984 malnourished children still on admission; while 1,220 defaulted on treatment.
She explained that the cure rate was 54.2 per cent, below the standard of not less than 75 per cent, which she attributed to stock out of Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the nutrition stakeholders decried inadequate funding, bottlenecks and bureaucracy in carrying out nutrition activities in the state.
The also suggested ways in price control of food items in the markets, involvement of men in nutrition meetings, among others to enable the cause of scaling up nutrition in the state.
NAN also reports that other nutrition stakeholders in the meeting were NAFDAC, Safe the Children, UNICEF, Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), among others.