Stakeholders Call for Increased Budgetary Provision for Nutrition Programmes in Kaduna

Stakeholders Call for Increased Budgetary Provision for Nutrition Programmes in Kaduna‎

By ALEX UANGBAOJE

Following the recent survey that shown that 57% of children born in Kaduna are malnurished, stakeholders in the sector who met at a one-day retreat on malnutrition organised by the Kaduna State Ministries of Local Government, Health and Human Services in partnership with UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, have called on the state government to  increase the budgetary provision from the current thirty million naira (30,000000) to sixty million naira (N60,000000) in order to stamp out malnutrition in the state.‎

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This was contained in a Communique issued at the end of the retreat on Tuesday, jointly signed by the Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Health and Human Services, Alhaji Ibrahim Jere, and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Malam Mohammed Sambo.

‎The signatories also include; Director, Development Aids Coordination in the state Ministry of Budget and Planning, Mrs Phoebe Yayi.

The communique states that, N30 million, the current budgetary allocation, was grossly inadequate given the high burden of acute malnutrition in the state.

It further recommend that N500, 000 per month should be provided for Infant and Young Children Feeding (IYCF), while N250, 000 should go for Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM).‎‎

It urged the local government areas in the state to set aside budgetary allocations and release funds for scaling up nutrition intervention in their respective areas.

It equally recommend that a total of N9 million  be set aside for each local government annually as part of the measures to scale up IYCF and CMAM.

It emphasised the need for the State Committee on Food and Nutrition to replicate its activities in all the local government areas.

Participants at the also called for increased collaboration between government, development partners and civil society organisations, as well as the media in order to improve the nutrition situation in the state.

The communiqué further said that IYCF should be increased from the two existing ones to all the 23 local government areas of the state as a preventive strategy to reduce malnutrition.

It stressed the need for the state to do everything to ensure that at least the 10 most affected local government areas had facilities for CMAM.

The participants observed that IYCF practices in the state could be improved from the current rate of 8.4 per cent.

It added that there could also be an improvement in the area of stunting and wasting which stood at 52 and 42 per cent, respectively without much progress since 1990.

The participants noted that prevention of malnutrition through behavioural change and management of the existing cases would remarkably reduce the current situation of malnutrition among women and children in the state.

Participants observed that the state government and the local governments were already supporting a high impact nutrition interventions for pregnant women under its bi-annual Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week.

It added that Vitamin A supplements, de-worming of children aged 12 to 59 months and iron folic supplements for pregnant women be provided.

The participants said it was necessary for the state Ministry of Health and Human Services to continue to procure Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) for scaling up of CMAM programme in the state.

They also stressed to improve IYCF practices in the state including exclusive breast-feeding, saying the situation of the latter could be improved from its present 8.4 per cent.

About 67 participants drawn from ministries, Primary Health Care Departments from all the 23 local government areas in the state took part in the retreat.

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