Kwara Govt, UNICEF Launches Nutrition Treatments in All PHCs in Kwara for Under 5 Children

By Uangbaoje Alex, Ilorin

Kwara State Government and the United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF), on Wednesday in Ilorin, flagged off nutrition-related treatments across all the Primary Health Centres in the state.

The project, Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria (ANRiN), is aimed at providing access to nutrition-related treatment to children under five of age.

Speaking at the ceremony, the state Governor, Alhaji AbdulRahman AbdulRazak, said henceforth under five children in the state will have access to nutrition-related treatments across the Primary Health Centres.

Represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof Mamman Jubril, the Governor lamented that about 238,171 out of every 696, 405 of under five years children in Kwara are stunted, adding that this is a development that is evidence of chronic malnutrition and a potent socio-economic threat to the state.

He observed that malnutrition in children and pregnant women is a major factor in maternal and child death.

“Stunted children are unable to contribute to growth of the society. The persistent increase in the rate of malnutrition in the country led the Federal Government of Nigeria to partner with the World Bank to come up with an intervention targeted at tackling malnutrition,” he said.

According to him, the ANRiN project is therefore a bold step to address malnutrition by increasing the utilisation of high quality and cost effective nutrition interventions among pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls, and children under the age of five years.

He recalled that due to the unsavory condition of the health sector in the state, the government payed the sum of N232m as counterpart funding for Basic Health Care Provision Fund, Malaria-Free Kwara project, and ANRiN among other interventions programs.

He explained that the nutrition will include provision of micro nutrients powder, zinc, Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS), iron and Felix acids tablets for pregnant women and lactating women.

Others he said are high calories food for malnourished children, vitamin A, malaria preventing drugs to pregnant women and, deworming of children, among other benefits.

In his remarks, Dr Zakari Adams, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Kaduna said organisation will continue to assist the state government, in ensuring the menace of malnutrition is overcome.

He warned that one out of every five children in the country will die if nothing is done about malnutrition, adding that women and children are the ones bearing the brunt of the problem.

He however commended the Federal Government for striving to tackle the challenge of malnutrition in the country, however pointing out that the government alone can not shoulder the burden.

He advised that other stakeholders must put efforts to save lives and improve well-being of children across the country.

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