KADUNA, North-West Nigeria – The Non-governmental Organization, Alive & Thrive, (A&T), has urged pregnant and nursing women to ensure the intake of Multiple Micronutrients Supplement (MMS) in place of Iron and Folic Acid, (IFA).
Zonal Coordinator of A&T, Sarah Kwasu, stated this at a media and stakeholders roundtable to promote issue salience on Maternal Infant and Young Child Nutrition, (MIYCN) at the weekend.
Ms Kwasu who said MMS is once-a-day pill of critical micronutrients containing between 13-15 essential vitamins and minerals for pregnant and nursing women, meets the requirements that poor diets cannot meet to help ensure a healthy pregnancy, and a healthy baby.
According to her, in comparison to IFA supplementation, MMS better ensures that babies are born healthy and has the greatest benefits when taken by malnourished women.
“The risk of infant mortality (from 0-6 months of age) decreases by 29% when a mother with anemia takes MMS during pregnancy. reduce the risk of a child being stillborn by 26% among anemic, pregnant women.
“Taking MMS by pregnant women reduce the risk of a child being born underweight to anemic pregnant women by 19%. reduce the risk of a child being born pre-term by 8%. Among pregnant, underweight women, the risk decreases by 16%,” she said.
Earlier, in separate messages, the new Permanent Secretary, Kaduna state Ministry of Environment, Linda Yakubu, said media partners are key in promoting the issue of Nutrition in the state, and thanked them for the level of commitment.
The state Communication, Nutrition Officer, Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria, (ANRiN) project, Mairo Tahir, opined that malnutrition is more of an issue of ignorance and not poverty, because communities most affected by malnutrition are farming communities, it is believed to be an issue of ignorance and maybe food management.
According to her, ANRiN has embarked on social and behavioural communication through jingles, and sent out different messages on MIYCN, anchored on five key areas – advocacy on early initiation, exclusive breastfeeding for six months, appropriate complementary feeding, hand washing component, infant and folic acid for pregnant mothers.
She said these five key messages are all running in four stations in the state, and solicited media’s support to kick out malnutrition in Kaduna state.
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