The Kaduna State Government, on Thursday reassured that it would continue to brace up its commitment towards achieving a malnutrition-free society.
The Executive Secretary, Kaduna State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Mr. Hamza Abubakar, made the commitment in an occasion to honour those who have contributed to the campaign on IYCF practices in the state.
NAN reports that the event was in collaboration with Alive and Thrive, the Kaduna State Primary Health Care Development Agency , the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, UNICEF, CSOs, among others.
Hamza, in his speech, said that the political will and commitment of the Kaduna state government on improving health and nutrition in the state had made it invest more in nutrition.
“The policy environment is highly favorable, apart from declaration on emergency, the government has set up a committee which is coordinating all the nutrition efforts in the state.
“We have adopted the national policy on food and nutrition and now we have a functional state commitment on food and nutrition. Also on our part, we have created a budget line on nutrition,” Ikara said.
He however stated that more needs to be done to scale up nutrition practices in the state as “50% or more of our children under the age of five are actually stunted; we have a lot of work to do.
“Out of the 50% that are stunted, almost all of them are severely stunted below three standard deviation.”
Also speaking, President of Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Mr Bartholomew Brai, encouraged all relevant stakeholders to continue to support and do more to promote nutrition.
According to him, adequate nutrition including improvement of infant and health care have been identified as the catalyst for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
The State Team Leader of Alive and Thrive, Sarah Kwasu said the NGO will continue working with the state at local governments areas till 2020.
Kwasu said that the NGO will also continue its project in capturing both government and private facilities in the state with the focus on exclusive breastfeeding, complementary feeding and dietary diversity.
The Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Hadiza Balarabe, commended the wife of the governor, Ummi El-Rufa’i for her focus in the struggle to end malnutrition and other related diseases among infants and children in the state.
Balarabe said that exclusive breastfeeding remains one of the key actions that can help achieve human capital development objectives.
“Supporting exclusive breastfeeding is key to improving health and supporting the brain power that can help in educating and developing productive workforce,” she said.
In her response, wife of the governor, Mrs Aisha El-Rufa’i said breastfeeding is known to be the single, most cost-effective, high impact method of feeding infants.
“Breast milk provides adequate nutrients from the first day of birth up to two years,’’ she added.
She, however, said that exclusive breastfeeding rate in Nigeria remained one of the lowest in the world.
“The 2018 National Nutrition Health Survey showed that
only one out of three children were exclusively breastfed.
“I call on mothers to ensure exclusive breastfeeding of their infant for betterment of their health”, she said.
NAN reports that award of recognition were were given to the governor’s wife for championing the fight against malnutrition in the state.
Awards were also given to Mrs Amina Abubakar and her husband Sani Baba for exclusively breastfeeding their triplets for six months.(NAN)
Edited by Maharazu Ahmed