Malnutrition: Group Recommends Establishment of Nutrition Agency in States
By Alex Uangbaoje
Participants at the just concluded 3-days training of Nutrition Champions to work towards improved nutrition funding and visibility across some states in Nigeria, have called on state governments in Nigeria to establish Nutrition Agencies.
The nutrition stakeholders in a communique signed by Beatrice Eluaka, Executive Secretary CS-SUNN at the end of the training recommended that state governments be encouraged to consider establishing State Nutrition Agencies to coordinate nutrition activities in their various states.
The training which was organized by Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), was aimed at equipping identified influencers with the requisite knowledge required to engage for improved nutrition funding and visibility across the aforementioned states.
The 3-day workshop was held in Ilorin, Kwara state with participants drawn from five Partnership for Improving Nigeria Nutrition Systems (PINNS) project states- Kano, Lagos, Niger, Nasarawa and Kaduna.
The workshop further resolved that; ‘all states’ champions would develop and implement an action plan to improve nutrition status in their states. A platform would be created for interaction, experience sharing on progress made among and
between the state champions.
“More nutrition champions would be identified and mobilized in the individual states with the opportunity for regular training to build their capacity and skills to address the nutrition challenges in the states.”
Earlier in a welcome address, CS-SUNN’s Steering Committee Chairman, Dr. David Olayemi decried the poor attention given to nutrition in the country.
“All of us have a responsibility to ensure that we lay a solid foundation for all babies in the first 1,000 days of their lives from conception to age 2-giving
them appropriate Nutrition at every stage of their development. That can only happen if we have the
knowledge of what to give”, he said.
Key commitments made by the Nutrition Champions include meeting with state governors for prioritization of nutrition, evidence-based presentations to state executive councils and media actions
for improving nutrition visibility through advocacy programs for nutrition and publications across broadcast and print media.
17 Nutrition Champions were trained including permanent secretaries, Market Women leaders, Media persons among others.