The Kaduna State Government says it has established 300 nutrition corners in health facilities across 23 local government areas, as part of strategies to fight malnutrition.
This was disclosed by the Project Manager, Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan, Mr. Umar Bambale, while speaking with journalists on Wednesday in Kaduna.
Earlier last November, the State Nutrition Officer, Mrs. Ramatu Musa, said no fewer than 124 children had died of malnutrition in Kaduna State between January and September, with 15,329 cured of the diseases within the same period.
Mrs. Musa noted that a total of 21,265 malnourished children under five years were admitted in various Community Management of Acute Malnutrition in the state.
“Out of the figure, 124 children died of the diseases, 15,329 cured, 324 did not recover, 2,188 defaulted on treatment and 199 with complications referred to stabilisation centres across the state and 3,101 are undergoing treatment.
“Currently, CMAM is being implemented in 77 health facilities in 15 Local Government Areas of the state, while Infant and Young Child Feeding is being implemented in 13 LGAs.
“We have also trained 796 community volunteers, 45 in each LGA except Igabi with 63 and Kajuru 238 mobilising community members for optimal IYCF practices,” she said.
Project Manager Bambale explained that the nutrition corners were being used to teach women and caregivers how to prepare nutritious meals using available food items.
He said that the project was actualised following the monthly release of N1 million by each local government area through the Ministry for Local Government Affairs for implementation of nutrition programmes in the LGAs.
He said, “Our target is to ensure that all our health facilities have a food demonstration corner to educate mothers on ways to prepare nutritious meals for children under five years using available food.
“We had less than 100 nutrition corners in health facilities before the monthly release of the N1m by the LGAs which started in July 2020.
“But with the consistent release of the funds, we have been able to establish additional nutrition corners and procure the needed equipment, consumables and drugs in more than 300 health centres.”
Bambale commended the LGAs for the monthly release of the funds, adding that a utilisation template has been designed by the agency to track and ensure judicious use of the funds.
He explained that part of the money is being used to fund similar programmes like the Community Management of Acute Malnutrition, Community Infant and Young Child Feeding and Food and Nutrition programming and monitoring.
The project manager said the Local Government Food and Nutrition Committees meet every month to review activities, progress, and challenges in the implementation of nutrition interventions and to find ways to address them.
He noted that wives of the local government chairmen are also supervising nutrition activities in their respective areas and encouraged women to visit health centres to access nutrition services.
Bambale disclosed that the demand for nutrition services had increased over the years due to the massive awareness and sensitisation campaigns to nutrition by community volunteers.
Recall that in November 2020, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, State Primary Health Care Board, Mr. Jibril Isah, disclosed that the government was considering the establishment of a nutrition agency to coordinate all nutrition activities in the state.
Isah said Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i had presented a memo to the Executive Council to that effect and that it was before the Planning and Budget Commission and Ministry of Health for advice.
He said that the move was to ensure effective coordination of nutrition interventions by the ministries, department and agencies, development partners and relevant stakeholders.
According to him, the state has recruited 76 nutritionists to provide technical nutrition services at healthcare centres in the state.
Isah said that the 76 nutritionists were part of the over 1,300 health workers recently recruited under the ongoing exercise for over 3.000 health workers in the state.
“The recruitment is being done in phases as part of efforts to improve the quality of health and nutrition services delivery in health centres.
“The nutritionists have been deployed to health facilities across the state,” he said.
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