By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
The Project Director, Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria, (CS-SUNN) Mrs. Beatrice Eluaka has advocated for a budget line for nutrition in ministries in the state and inadequate staff and infrastructure to meet the growing situation of malnourished children.
She stated this in her key note address during the advocacy visits to the wife of the Kaduna State Governor, Hajiya Ummi Garba El-Rufai with its members from National and Kaduna State Chapter of CS-SUNN in Kaduna, North West Nigeria Monday.
The Project Director observed also that there is lack of Nutrition information management system that provides at a glance the status of the nutrition situation in the state per a given time and poor level of awareness at the Local Community level on proper feeding practices.
During the advocacy visit, Mrs. Beatrice Ekuaka requested that Hajiya Ummi El-Rufai continues to play a lead role, as they join her in advocating for government to continue to place nutrition in the front burner and as a development issue in the State.
According to her, there is the need for the timely release of funding to enable implementation of activities within line ministries to combat malnutrition in the state and full involvement of CS-SUNN in nutrition intervention activities in the Kaduna state.
This, she said, became necessary as Kaduna State recorded the highest rate of child under-nutrition in North West if the country and Nigeria according to (NDHS 2013) with 55% in stunting and 27% in wasting.
The Project Director however informed that CS-SUNN is a Non-governmental, non-profit making coalition, made up of organizations with a shared vision to transform Nigeria into a country where every citizen has food and nutrition is secured.
In her remark while receiving the delegate, the wife of the State Governor, Hajiya Ummi El-Rufai who is also the Chairperson of Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan (KADENAP), said the state is deeply concern to address the problem of malnutrition especially when Kaduna State has 55 and 27 percent of its children stunting and wasting.
According to her, the activities of CS-SUNN is in line with the KADENAP program, therefore the state will inculcate them into the project as a partner especially in areas of data provision, community enlightenment and orientation and also promised to tackle the problem of malnutrition ravaging the state.
While presenting the advocacy report to Hajiya Ummi El-Rufai, the Kaduna State Co-ordinator of CS-SUNN, Mr. Silas Spencer Ideva opined that the key advocacy objectives of the coalition are for timely domestication, wide dissemination and implementation of the Kaduna State food and nutrition policy.
“Our guiding principles includes; evidence based decision making, gender mainstreaming, equity, feed-back, diversity, value for money, transparency and integrity,” he said.
“Adequate nutrition is essential throughout the lifespan especially within the first 1000 days of life; the first 1000 days of life: begins with conception, through the mother’s pregnancy and up till the child is aged two years;
“A healthy mother is more likely to give birth to a healthy baby and have ability to look after the baby during this most critical period in a child’s development.” He said.