The Kaduna state government has stated its commitment to improving the nutritional status of residents, including reducing anaemia amongst children, adolescents and women.
The Permanent Secretary, State Planning and Budget Commission, Hajiya Umma Aboki made the disclosure at the opening of a two-Day workshop in Kaduna, on Friday.
Aboki said that the programme was meant to determine the status of anaemia across all local government councils and to improve the nutritional status of their residents.
“Anemia is one of the life-threatening diseases affecting our population in Kaduna state.
“In the last two years, not all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) had nutrition budget lines, but as of now, all of them have nutrition budget lines, as well as all the LGAs, it is a plus for us on our nutrition plan scale,’’ she said.
Represented by Alhaji Salisu Lawal, the state’s Director of Development Health Coordination at the Commission, Aboki added that anaemia was still a major challenge in the state.
She noted that in spite of the government’s huge investments in nutrition, anaemia had remained prevalent among adolescent girls, women and school-age children which, if unchecked, could lower the intelligence quotient as well as decreased learning abilities and achievements in the future.
The permanent secretary urged the participants to support the state government’s plan to reduce anaemia in different communities across the state.
Dr Zainab Idris, the Project Manager of Accelerating Nutrition Result in Nigeria (ANRiN), said that a lot of services at Primary Health Care Centres were not accessible and utilised.
Idris said that lack of access and utilisation of the services that would have upscaled nutrition, necessitated the interventions by ANRiN.
“This is something we are expecting to really work so that at the end there will be a multiplier effect, and this is where the ANRiN project will contribute and see possibilities of collaboration to deliver the target services.
“The services are to ensure that the strategic social behaviour change communication counselling on maternal, infant and young child nutrition practice are improved across the communities’’, she said.
Idris added that micronutrition powder for children would be distributed to address diarrhoeal infection, provide pregnant women with iron, folic acid and malarial treatment.
“These are the things we are already doing, it will serve as a complement to this project. We will soon embark on monitoring of our respective LGAs, to see how the interventions are progressing’’, she added.
Newsmen reports that the participants were drawn from local government councils, including Health Secretaries and Reproductive Health Coordinators from the 23 LGAs in the state.
Others were representatives of UNICEF, Save the Children Fund, Alive and Thrive, Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria, Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan.