Wives tackle menace of malnutrition in Kaduna
Wives of chairmen of 23 local government areas ( LGAs) of Kaduna state have made commitment to support the ongoing fight against malnutrition in their respective areas.
They made the commitment in a communiqué in Kaduna on Sunday.
The wives said in the communiqué they all signed that they would do whatever possible, within their reach and ability, to ensure that “nutrition is given the prominence it deserves.“
“We, the wives of the local government chairmen of Kaduna state, having recognised the seriousness of malnutrition in our communities, agreed to support our husbands and the state government to end the scourge.
“We will equally advocate to our husbands on the need to take nutrition activities seriously, to check the prevalence of malnutrition and its implications on the lives of our children.
“We also pledge to, as a matter of urgency, facilitate the mobilisation of resources for nutrition interventions and carry out sensitisation campaigns in our respective local government areas.
“We will assist in facilitating the tracking of funds allocated for nutrition interventions in our local government areas to ensure that the funds are released on time and used appropriately for maximum impact,“ they said.
The wives also agreed to own nutrition programmes and be actively involved in nutrition related activities in their respective local government areas.
“This we will do by facilitating the formation of functional Local Government Food and Nutrition Committee, establishment of Community Infant and Young Child Feeding and participate in biannual Maternal, Newborn and Child Health week.”
The state government had on Thursday, mobilised the wives of the council chairmen to assist in resource mobilsation for nutrition intervention at local government level.
The Permanent Secretary, Planning and Budget Commission, in the state, Mahmoud Yamusa said that the meeting was supported by UNICEF, adding that the measure was necessary to bridge the funding gap for nutrition intervention in the state.
Yamusa, who was represented by Director Budget, Mrs Phoebe Yayi, said that more than N315 million had been allocated in the 2019 budget for nutrition interventions in the 23 LGAs.
He, however, said that the allocated funds would not be enough, considering the high number of malnourished children in the state.
The state Nutrition Officer, Hajiya Hauwa Usman, had noted that malnutrition indices in the state remained a public concern.
Usman disclosed that 111,183 children, less than five years in the state were cutely malnourished, adding that 63,333 of them had access to treatment, leaving 47,840.
She also said that so far, only 11 out of the 23 LGAs were implementing Community Management of Acute Malnutrition.
“Even at that, the coverage in the 11 LGAs was 50 per cent, as the programme covered only five out of the 10 wards in each of the 11 the LGAs.
“This shows the need to scale up the CMAM programme in all the 23 LGAs of the state to reach out to the remaining 47,840 acutely malnourished children without access to treatment.
“But to do that, we need resources and all the support we can get,” she said.