Kaduna (Nigeria) – United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said Nigeria is still among the world’s highest in child mortality rates and stunting prevalence.
The Officer In Charge of UNICEF, Kaduna office, northwest of the country, Dr Idris Baba, disclosed this in Kaduna, at 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).
Dr. Baba, noted that despite compelling evidence that breastfeeding and improved complementary feeding contribute to improved child-survival and development and overall nutritional status of children, Nigeria was slow in its improvement.
Represented by Adamu Ndagi, Dr. Baba, reiterates UNICEF continued commitment to working with the government towards improving the nutrition outcomes, especially of the vulnerable group, women and children.
The essence of the meeting according to Chinwe Ezeife, a Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, is to ensure that members of the task-force are playing their roles effectively, as they deliver quality CMAM and c-CIYF services in their various institutions.
She added that it is also geared towards mobilising and sensitising stakeholders on supervision, participation and ownership of the programme, to share with stakeholders, achievement recorded in their communities, collect data from Nutrition Focal persons(NFPs), to identify gaps and proffer solutions.
In a remark, Director Planning, Kaduna State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (KSPHDA), Muhammad Auwal Waziri, who represented the Executive Secretary of the Agency, pointed out that nutrition is the priority of the state government, in addition to Universal Health Coverage and immunisation.
He therefore, charged 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 of Kaduna State, Mr. Iliya Bako, blamed focal persons for not contacting traditional rulers in the communities when such intervention programmes were ongoing.
He said reporting non -compliance to traditional rulers for intervention will go a long way in addressing the issue of defaulters.
The Traditional ruler noted that health departments are the live wire of all LGAs, but regretted that funding has been the major challenge militating against the survival of LGAs.
130 participants including traditional rulers drawn from 13 LGAs, of Birni-Gwari, Chikun, Igabi, Jaba, Jama’a’ Kachia, Kajuru, Kaduna South, Kaduna North, Lere, Makarfi, Zango-Kataf and Zaria attended the meeting.
Okegbemi Olusoji Festus is an Editor/Creative writer at campustori.com, A digital media Executive and a known Social Media Enthusiast.