Kaduna State, UNICEF To Strengthen Quality Nutrition Services

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By; AMOS TAUNA & ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kaduna

The Kaduna State Government, with the support of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) said on Thursday that it is aiming at strengthening the delivery of quality nutrition services of its Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC) in the state.

Mrs Ramatu Haruna, the State Nutrition Officer, while speaking in Kaduna at the opening of a one-day review meeting with Officers-In-Charge (OIC) of PHCs and Local Government’s Nutrition Focal Persons in Kaduna Central Senatorial Zone said that the meeting, supported by UNICEF, was taking place simultaneously in the three Senatorial Zones of the state.

She explained that the meeting was designed to equip the OICs with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively promote adequate Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices in the state.

She added that the meeting was also organised to assess the OICs’ knowledge on nutrition services at the PHCs, as well as proper and regular record keeping and documentation of nutrition services.

Mrs Ramatu Haruna noted that the measure was necessary for the facility heads to be able to provide the needed nutrition services and adequately teach mothers how to initiate early breastfeeding, practice exclusive breastfeeding and appropriate complementary feeding.

She said the the OIC must equally ensure that parents and caregivers are taught how to prepare appropriate complementary feeding, using available food items, dietary diversity and proper sanitation and hygiene practices.

She added that the state wants to improve the attitude of health workers toward their client, which is very critical for mothers and caregivers to continue to demand for nutrition and other health services.

She noted that the health workers must operate within the ethical boundary of the profession, to build the needed confidence on the health system to work for the people.

Responding, the Zonal Director, Zone II, Mr Ashafa Ahmed, said that all health facilities must ensure adequate curative and preventive services against malnutrition among children under five years as well as the mothers.

Ashafa Ahmed described IYCF as one of the effective preventive measures against malnutrition, stressing the need for the OiCs to strengthen awareness and enlightenment of mother’s and caregivers on exclusive breast feeding and appropriate complementary feeding.

Also the Programme Manager, Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan, Umar Bamalli, urged the OiCs to ensure that the nutrition corners for food demonstration in the facilities were functioning.

Bamalli said that with current support for nutrition interventions in all PHCs in the state, the facilities must do their best in providing quality nutrition services.

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