eHealth Africa Provides Nutrition, Reproductive Services To 1m Women, Children In Kaduna
By: Femi Mustapha
The eHealth Africa has provided nutrition and reproductive health services to more than one million women, children, and adolescent girls in Kaduna state.
Dr. Aminu Abubakar, Project Director, eHealth Africa – Accelerating Nutrition Result in Nigeria (ANRiN) Project, made this known in Kaduna, during a town hall meeting with community stakeholders to review progress.
Abubakar said the services were provided under the World Bank-supported ANRiN project, between May 2021 and May 2022, surpassing the first one-year target.
Abubakar explained that the project, through a mix of counseling and service delivery, aims to increase the utilization of quality and cost-effective nutrition services for pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls, and children under five years.
He said that eHealth Africa was delivering an integrated community-based Basic Package of Nutrition Services (BPNS) and Adolescent Health Services (AHS) in 12 LGAs of the state.
He identified the local government areas as Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Chikun, Kajuru, Kagarko, Kachia, Kaura, Jaba, Zangon Kataf, Jema’a, Sanga, and Ikara.
He said that out of the more than one million beneficiaries, 237,432 children 12 to 59 months were provided with deworming services, and 224,633 children six to 59 months reached with Vitamin A supplement.
He added that a total of 91,669 children, six to 23 months, were reached with micronutrient powder, while 88,808 children, six to 59 months, were reached with Zinc/ORS services.
The project director added that a total of 2,490 adolescent married women were reached with long-acting reversible contraceptives and 23,857 others with short-acting reversible contraceptives.
He further said that 120,000 pregnant women were reached with iron, and folic acid, 50,979 pregnant women reached with malaria drugs, and 178,606 others reached with maternal, infant, and young child nutrition counseling services.
According to him, the goal of the town hall is to bring beneficiaries and key stakeholders to review progress, challenges, and lessons learned.
“The meeting also provides an avenue for dialogue to deepen collaboration with stakeholders and generate feedback from beneficiaries to inform future planning.”
ANRiN Project Coordinator, Dr. Zainab Muhammad-Idris in the state, said that eHealth Africa and Society for Family Health (SFH) were contracted in 2021 to provide Basic Package of Nutrition Services (BPNS) and Adolescent Health Services (AHS).
Muhammad-Idris said that the services were being provided at community levels to increase the utilization of quality, cost-effective nutrition services for pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls, and children less than five years.
According to her, the objective is to reduce chronic malnutrition, and maternal and child mortality rates and, in the long run, increase school completion, and performance and improve labour force productivity.
I am happy to say that eHealth has been able to exceed its set target for the first year of the project in terms of the number of beneficiaries it was expected to reach.
“Also, our monitoring visit to some communities confirmed the quality of services eHealth Africa is providing across the 12 LGAs. This is quite commendable.”
Mr. Kabiru Jari, Chairman, Kaduna South Local Government, thanked the ANRiN project for providing crucial nutrition services for women and children.
Jari, who was represented by Mr. Nehemiah Karik, the Vice-Chairman, pledged to support nutrition activities with the release of one million Naira every month for nutrition intervention in the LGA.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Hadiza Harisu, of the Agbakpa Kaduna North LGA, said that she benefitted from family planning services, iron folate acid, and micronutrient powder for her twins.