By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – The Kaduna State Government on Thursday began a two-day workshop to develop its 2019 Food and Nutrition Annual Operational Plan for 23 Local Government Areas of the state.
The Director, Development Aid Coordination in the state Planning and Budget Commission, Malam Salisu Lawal, said at the opening of the workshop in Zaria that the goal was to strengthen the fight against malnutrition at local levels.
Lawal said that the workshop, supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund, (UNICEF), was designed to ensure that the state and local governments were on the same page in the fight to curb malnutrition.
He thanked UNICEF and other development partners for the support and called on participants to make inputs needed to produce an operational plan that would be used to change the nutrition indices of the state.
“Kaduna State Government has included nutrition in priority areas of intervention via a multisectoral approach with a view to giving children a good start in life.
“The state is mobilising resources both locally and internationally through development partners to increase spending in the sector, needed to address the scourge of malnutrition in the state.
“We want our children to access all the nutrition they need to grow healthy and become intelligent and creative citizens that will contribute to the development of the state and the nation.
“To achieve this, we must make the best use of available resources by ensuring that all interventions at the state and local levels were well thought-out to create the desired impact.
“This, therefore, makes the business of developing annual operational plan for the LGAs crucial to wining the war against malnutrition in the state,” the director said.
Also speaking, the Deputy Director, Development Aid Coordination in the commission, Mr. Yusuf Aura, explained that the plan, when developed, would be the first in the state for the LGAs.
Auta added that the absence of the operational plan in the LGAs had made the assessment of performance of nutrition interventions in the councils very difficult.
According to him, the plan is key to ensuring coordinated and strategic interventions that aligns with the state’s goals and targets in curbing the scourge of malnutrition.
“The plan will be developed and costed as well as the strategies to implement the activities to design for greater impact,” he said.
Director Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Kaduna State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Malam Lawwal Waziri, described the plan as a short time detailed plan, formulated to achieve strategic objective.
Waziri explained that the plan provided the needed road map for achieving result, improve implementation at all levels, facilitate timely response and linked LGAs to state government planning and budget.
“It will also improve accountability in nutrition spending in the LGAs,” he added.
Participants at the workshop included, Nutrition Focal Persons from the 23 LGAs, Zonal Health Directors, representatives from the academia, media and development partners.