The Kaduna State Government said on Wednesday that it would partner the Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) to mobilise women against malnutrition in the state.
The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Baba, said this when Mr Silas Ideva, CS-SUNN Coordinator and other members of the organisation visited her in her office in Kaduna.
Baba said that the ministry was very strategic in mobilising women and children, particularly as its affects their welfare and survival.
She described the current malnutrition indices in the state as very unfortunate, considering the available agricultural resources in the state.
According to her, the development requires the participation of all relevant stakeholders to effectively address the scourge.
“We will, therefore, need your support and expertise in designing sensitive interventions that will help turn the tide around, particularly in our 2018 budget.
“Please recommend to us some of the interventions and activities that you think we should adopt as a ministry.
“I want us to work as partners to mobilise women, educate and empower them to properly take care of their children.”
The commissioner added that the contract for the construction and equipping of three women skill acquisition centres, one in each of the three senatorial districts of the state, would soon be awarded.
She said that more than N90 million had been earmarked for the project in the 2017 budget.
“When completed, the centres would equip our women with the needed skills that will enable them to generate money and put quality food on their tables.’’ Baba said.
Earlier, Ideva explained that the group was in her office to seek areas of collaboration, particularly on issues relating to maternal and child nutrition in the state.
According to him, malnutrition has remained a serious threat to the optimal development of children in the state.
He said that although the state government had initiated various projects to address the challenge, it would still require active collaboration of relevant stakeholders to turn around the malnutrition indices in the state.
“To achieve the desired impact, the state government must involve community members, Civil Society Organisations, NGOs and other relevant stakeholders if it hopes to eliminate malnutrition in the state.
“There is equally the need for multifaceted strategic interventions with a clear implementation roadmap and a monitoring and evaluation framework.’’
Ideva equally called for the implementation of the National Strategic Plan of Action for Nutrition in the state, adding that it contained strategies, roles and responsibilities for respective stakeholders.
According to him, the plan, if well implemented, would reduce stunting by 20 per cent and underweight by 15 per cent among children under-five years by 2018.
“The plan focuses on six priority areas — maternal nutrition, infants and young child feeding, management of severe acute malnutrition, micronutrient deficiency control, diet-related non communicable disease and nutrition information system.
“We will continue to reach out to all relevant ministries, departments and agencies in the state to see how as partners we can all work together to ensure the survival and uninterrupted development of children in the state, ”Ideva said.
The National Demographic Health Survey 2013 showed that 57 per cent of children under five years in the state are stunted, while 42 per cent are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
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