A young child suffering from the terrible effects of malnutrition.

Nasarawa Partners NHED, APiN to End Child Malnutrition

Nasarawa State Government has partnered with Network for Health Equity Development (NHED) and AIDS Prevention Initiate in Nigeria (APiN) to tackle malnutrition among children and pregnant women in the state.

Dr. Gaza Gwamna, Commissioner for Health made the disclosure at a review meeting with NHED and APIN on Wednesday in Lafia.

He explained that the aim of the meeting was to review the activities of their partnership since inception with a view of extending it in order to capture more people.

He further said that with the number of beneficiaries so far reached, it is possible to achieve zero prevalence rate of malnutrition in the state in future.

The Commissioner called on residents to always take advantage of the locally sourced nutritional foods in their environments in order to prevent stunting growth.

Gwamna also reinstated that quality healthcare delivery is one of the topmost priorities of the Gov. Abdullahi Sule-led administration.

The Commissioner, therefore, promised to work with any organisation interested in improving healthcare services of the people in the state.

On his part, Dr Illiyasu Tunga, Nasarawa State Coordinator, Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria (ANRiN), said 1, 869, 385 children, pregnant women, adolescent pregnant women and nursing mothers across the state were benefiting from their services.

He added that they were working in all the 13 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.

He added that NHED and APiN were the two non-state actors engaged as implementing partners to ensure the success of ANRiN intervention in the various communities of the state.

“The non-state actors visit beneficiaries at home and provide services in the selected Primary Healthcare Centres across the state to support optimal growth and enhanced Nutrition.

“They also counsel adolescent girls, pregnant women and nursing mothers on locally sourced nutritional foods in their environments to prevent the infant and child growth defect (stunting),” he added.

He added that currently, they are providing seven services across the 13 LGAs of the state to tackle the scourge of malnutrition.

He said four of the services were being provided for children, while three are to pregnant women and nursing mothers.

“The interventions for children include; Micronutrients Powder, Vitamin A supplementation, Deworming tablet, and Zinc and Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS).

“While that for pregnant women and nursing mothers, include Maternal Infant and Young Child Nutrition Counselling, Iron Folic Acid/multiple micronutrients supplements, and Sulfadoxine Pyrimethamine (Fansider),” he said.

On their part, Dr Emmanuel Sokpo, Country Director of NHED and Mrs. Remi Olaitan of APiN lauded the Nasarawa State Government for the partnership so far and the residents for accepting their services.

They said they have been offering food supplements to children and pregnant women, especially young pregnant women and teaching them what to eat and live a healthy life.

“We also teach them how to cook the locally sourced nutritional foods within their environments and our services are all free,” they added.

The duo therefore commended the state government for their intention to extend the partnership for another six months and expressed optimism that more fruitful results would be achieved.