Malnutrition: UNICEF, Kaduna Launches Food Corner

By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in collaboration with the Kaduna State Government, as part of measures to improve the nutrition status people in the state, on Thursday launched food demonstration corner aimed to be a site for preparation of recipes from locally available food to help care -givers have a hand on experience and technical knowhow on the preparation of nutritious recipes from what is locally available in the state.
Speaking at the launch, at PHC Kasuwar Magani in Kajunu Local Government
Area, wife of the governor and chairperson of Kaduna Emergency Nutrition Action Plan (KADENAP), Aisha Ummi El-Rufai, noted that, poor Infant and Young Child Feeding remain the immediate causes of malnutrition with the negative impact on the growth and cognitive development of the child and coupled with Susceptibility to infections, non-communicable diseases and generational reproductive outcomes.

She said, “The period of complementary feeding (6-23months), when breast milk is no longer sufficient for the child imposes a challenge as ignorance in knowledge of
basic mutrition, proper and informed food selection, personal, food and environmental hygiene practices on mothers/caregivers in Kaduna State plays a key role.”
According to her, “The commencement of food demonstration corner set up at PHC Kasuwar Magani will serve as food
demonstration site for preparation of recipes from locally available food to help care -givers have a hand on experience and technical knowhow on the preparation
of nutritious recipes from what is locally available.
“This will provide a practical
experience for care-givers to strengthen the knowledge they have acquired
through counseling and home visitation. The food demonstration corner is currently set up in only one site in Kajuru, Kaduna state.”

“There is therefore the need to extend this intervention to other PHCs in the 23 Local Government Area.

“The launching of the food demonstration corner is aimed at showcasing the efforts at sustaining and strengthening Community Infant and Young Child Feeding (C-IYCF) practices learned through the study implementation and subsequently gets the buy-in of stakeholders for more innovation and support. It will serve as a medium of creating awareness on available service facility to stakeholders and care-givers in the community.

“The Center is to serve as a model for other PHCs across the 23 Local Government Areas of Kaduna State.PHC Kasuwar Magani was selected to be the health facility where food demonstration corner

will be launched.”

The governor’s wife added that the overall goal of the program is to adopt strategies to accelerate responses to improve complementary feeding practices for Kaduna State children 6-23 months old with a view to reducing malnutrition and promoting the health of State and nation at large.

She lauds UNICEF’s collaboration with the state government in their efforts to strengthen Community Infant and Young Child Feeding (C-IYCF) programme and investing huge amount of resources in the Kaduna State.

On her part, UNICEF Nutrition Specialist, Mrs Chinwe Ezeife, commended the governor’s wife for leading the fight against malnutrition in the state.

She thanked KADENAP for scaling up of CMAM sites from two local government areas to five, providing treatment for more than 1,000 malnourished children.

“This will serve as a model for other LGAs and I called on the state government to ensure that all health facilities in the state have a food demonstration corner.

“Counselling is important, but practical demonstration will make better impact.

“UNICEF will continue to partner with the state government in its efforts to reduce infant and child mortality in Kaduna State, “she added.

Administrator of Kajuru Local Goevrnment, Mallam Aminu Rabiu in his address, disclosed that five PHC’s in LGA are already equipped with all the necessary materials that will enhance the take-off of nutrition corner.

“For now, And in near future, we are going into other PHC’s for the implementation of nutrition corners in them.

“This of course is in line with the recommendation of World Health Organization, UNISEP and other Development Partners Kajuru Local Government has been a pioneer in this dimension and is far ahead in the implementation of the programme.

“We strongly believed that this government has given health sector, a paramount importance in its budget and has deeply concern over the health being of its governance.” He added.

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