Kaduna Govt. Collaborates with stakeholders to tackle malnutrition
By: Femi Mustapha
The Kaduna State Government says it will sustain collaboration with relevant stakeholders to strengthen the fight against malnutrition.
The Head of Service of the State
Habiba Anana Shekarau stated this during a breakfast meeting with government officials, stakeholders, and partners organized by Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria, (CS-SUNN), in Kaduna yesterday.
She assured the Stakeholders of the state of maximum commitment towards ensuring the optimal development of women and children in the state.
The Head of Service further said that the state government was passionate about delivering quality nutrition services that would prevent malnutrition in the State.
According to her Nutrition is critical to human capital development and multi-sectoral, as such needed much attention for the overall development of the state
Mrs. Shekarau disclosed that the state is looking into the possibility of establishing nutrition departments in all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of the state.She stressed that such a move will
ensure effective service delivery, all the nutrition line ministries and agencies in the state had been repositioned with the required experts in the management of malnutrition.
Speaking earlier the Permanent Secretary of the State Planning and Budget Commission (PBC) Bashir Muhammad, stressed the need for more funding for nutrition programs, given the devastating effects of the condition on economic growth and human development especially considering the present situations
Muhammad, who is the Chairman of the Committee for Food and Nutrition, said the Kaduna State has one of the highest burdens of malnourished children.
He noted that adequate nutrition is essential to children’s growth and development. According to him, the first 1000 days of a child’s life (the period from conception to age 2) are especially important for optimal physical, mental, and cognitive growth, health, and development and Kaduna state is on track to achieve this.
Mr. Kunle Ishola of CS – SUNN observed that Malnutrition is a condition that occurs when people consistently do not consume or absorb the right amounts and types of food and essential nutrients.
He explained that one of the main indicators of childhood malnutrition is stunting when children are too short for their age.
Stunted children have poor cognitive and brain development which prevents them from reaching their full potential in life in an increasingly competitive world.
“Malnutrition is caused by several factors, including lack of food, improper feeding and caring practices, economic and political structures, low status and lack of education among women, and so on.
“Therefore, a multi-sectoral approach is required for a reduction and eventual eradication of the scourge. As a matter of urgency, there has to be multifaceted, multi-stakeholder and multilevel intervention at scale to produce substantial outcomes in the short to medium term,” he said
Dr. Zainab Muhammad-Idris, Project Coordinator, Accelerating Nutrition Result in Nigeria (ANRiN Project), reiterated the project’s continued partnership with the state government to improve the nutritional status of children under five years, adolescents, and pregnant and lactating mothers.
She said the meeting was very critical in the fight against malnutrition in the state, noting that the multi-sectoral approach was a viable way of tackling the scourge of malnutrition in the state.
The meeting, which was organized by the CS-SUNN, brought together Permanent Secretaries and Heads of relevant agencies in Kaduna State to brainstorm on ways to create a department of nutrition in the various ministries as part of efforts to address malnutrition.