By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria -The Kaduna State Government, supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund, (UNICEF) on Thursday says that it is strengthening the delivery of quality nutrition services in Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC) in the state.
The State Nutrition Officer, Mrs Ramatu Haruna, disclosed this 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.
Mrs 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 is designed to equip the OiCs with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively promote adequate Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices.
She added that it 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.
She said that the measure was necessary for the facility heads to be able to provide the needed nutrition services and adequately teach mother’s how to initiate early breastfeeding, practice exclusive breastfeeding and appropriate complementary feeding.
“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.
“We also want 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.
“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,” she said.
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.
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.
The Programme Manager, Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan, Malam 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.