Kaduna Govt, CS-SUNN Strengthens Relationship to Fight Malnutrition

Kaduna Govt, CS-SUNN Strengthens Relationship to Fight Malnutrition

By: Femi  Mustapha

As the Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria, (CS SUNN,) celebrates its 10 years of interventions to reduce malnutrition in Nigeria and seven years of doing the same in Kaduna State, the government of Kaduna State has re-affirmed its commitment to sustaining the fight against malnutrition for the betterment of the citizens.

The Director of Development Aid Coordination, Planning and Budget Commission (PBC,) in Kaduna State, Aisha Muhammad asserted this at a Media Roundtable held in Kaduna, on 16th  April 2024.

According to her, the State government is committed to ensuring that malnutrition, stunting and wasting are eradicated in the state and the relationship with CS-SUNN will continue to be strengthened.

Aisha disclosed that as a mark of commitment, the State  Governor  Senator Uba Sani, has approved and also released some of the government’s commitment on cash backing and more will be released by the middle of this year.

“We will also try to ensure that all funds that have not been cash-backed will be approved,” She said.

Speaking earlier, the State Coordinator of CS-SUNN Jessica Bartholomew. said the media round table is part of activities pinned down to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the alliance with the theme  “A decade of advocacy: looking at the past and shaping the future.”

Ms Bartholomew added that the alliance in Kaduna State has a lot to celebrate because of some visible achievements recorded.

These achievements according to her include six months of paid maternity leave, the creche that is currently available in some ministries, the increased percentage in the amount of money allocated to nutrition in terms of releases, and other interventions.

“We have supported the State in pushing for legislation. Currently, there’s a draft bill on the six months of paid maternity leave, the discussions are still on and we are hoping that there’s going to be legislation due to our advocacies.”

“We also have a policy that is working for paid six months leave for all the civil servants in Kaduna State.”

“In 2018, the amount of money that was allocated to fight Malnutrition was less than two billion but currently we are going to five billion in terms of nutrition allocation in Kaduna State.”

“What we continue to fight for is an increase in the amount of releases that will be utilized for nutrition intervention.”

“We will continue to advocate the government please let us have cash backing to be able to utilize funds for nutrition, to be able to reduce the number of children that are dying from malnutrition and to protect the lives of pregnant women with multiple-micronutrient supplementation MMS.

“We want the government to be able to procure adequate RUTF and MMS for curatives as well as invest in agriculture for food security, invest in livelihood activities and also invest in WASH so that it can take care of the prevention aspect of malnutrition.”

“If we prevent malnutrition, we won’t have to spend so much resources in buying RUTF. So the government should please prioritize nutrition intervention because once the life of every child is protected, the human capital development of that State has been improved,” She said.

In her presentation, a member of the  Alliance, Fumilayo Adeoye, observed that nutrition plays a vital role in Human Capital Development, HCDsaidg nutrition serves as the cornerstone for the physical and mental well-being of individuals.

She pointed out that deficiencies in essential nutrients result in malnutrition, which adversely impacts both the health and productivity of individuals.

“It is therefore important to recognize that malnutrition not only undermines an individual’s health but also exerts a profound toll on economic prosperity, hindering the nation’s progress towards achieving its human capital development goals.”

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