The Kaduna State Government said on Thursday it was collaborating with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to deliver quality nutrition services in primary healthcare centres (PHCs).
The meeting was with Officers-In-Charge (OIC) of PHCs and Local Government Nutrition Focal Persons (NFP) in Kaduna central senatorial zone.
Haruna said that the meeting, supported by UNICEF, was taking place simultaneously in the three senatorial zones of the state.
According to her, the meeting was designed to equip the OICs and NFP with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively promote adequate Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices.
Haruna explained that officials would use the occasion to assess the OICs’ knowledge on nutrition services at the PHCs, proper and regular record keeping and documentation of nutrition services.
She said the measure was necessary for heads of facilities to provide the needed nutrition services and adequately teach mothers how to initiate early breastfeeding and practice exclusive breastfeeding.
“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.
“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,” Haruna said.
The Zonal Director, Zone 2, Mr Ashafa Ahmed, said that all health facilities must ensure adequate curative and preventive services against malnutrition among children under five years and mothers.
Ahmed described IYCF as one of the effective preventive measures against malnutrition, stressing the need for the OICs to sensitize mothers and caregivers on exclusive breast feeding and complementary feeding.
Malam Umar Bamalli, Programme Manager, Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan, urged the OICs to ensure that the nutrition sections 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.
The state government with support from UNICEF had trained community members, community volunteers and health workers in Sabon Gari LGA on community infant and young child feeding to prevent malnutrition.