Kaduna State Primary Health Development Agency (KDSPHA) in partnership with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), at the weekend held 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).
The meeting is part of measures to improve on efforts being made to change the nutrition status of children and women in Kaduna State from its high level of malnourishment to globally accepted level.
Speaking on the essence of the meeting, Chinwe Ezeife, Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office said, the meeting among others is to ensure members of the taskforce are playing their roles effectively particularly in the area of delivering quality CMAM and C-CIYF services in their various institutions.
She also said, the meeting is geared towards mobilizing and sensitizing stakeholders on supervision, participation and ownership of the programme and also share with stakeholders, achievement recorded in their communities, collect data from Nutrition Focal persons(NFPs) and identify gaps and proffer possible solutions.
Earlier, Officer In-Charge of UNICEF Kaduna Office, Dr. Idris Baba, who was represented by Adamu Ndagi, in his goodwill message, noted that despite compelling evidence that breastfeeding and improved complementary feeding contributes to improved child-survival and development and overall nutritional status of children, but Nigeria is slow in its improvement.
He said Nigeria still rates among the world’s highest in terms of child mortality rates and stunting prevalence and lowest rates of recommended IYCF indicators.
While calling on participants to play the roles expected of them, Dr. Baba, reiterates UNICEF continued commitment in working with the government towards improving the nutrition outcomes, especially of the vulnerable group I.e women and children.
In his remarks, Acting Executive Secretary (ES), KDSPHA, Muhammad Auwal Waziri, who represented the ES, pointed out that nutrition is the third prong priority of the state government, in addition to Universal Health Coverage and immunization.
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 (LGA), Iliya Bako, blamed focal persons for not contacting traditional rulers in the communities when such intervention programmes are ongoing.
He said reporting non compliance to traditional rulers for intervention will go a long way in addressing the issue of defaulters.
The Traditional rulers noted that health department are the live wire of all LGAs but regretted that funding has been the major challenge militating against the survival of LGAs.
130 participants drawn from 13 LGAs, of Birni-Gwari, Chikun, Igabi, Jaba, Jama’a’ Kachia, Kajuru, Kaduna South, Kaduna North, Lere, Makarfi, Zango-Kataf and Zaria including traditional rulers were part of participants at the task force meeting.
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