By Lawal A. Dogara, Kaduna
Kaduna State Government has promised to partner with Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria, (CS-SUNN) to tackle the problem of malnutrition ravaging the state.
The wife of the State Governor, Hajiya Ummi Garba El-Rufai disclosed this when she received the national and Kaduna State chapter members of the CS-SUNN in her office.
Hajiya Ummi who is the chairperson of Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan (KADENAP), said the state is deeply concerned to addressed the problem of malnutrition especially when Kaduna State has 55 and 42 per cent of its children stunting and wasting.
According to her, the activities of CS-SUNN is in line with the KADENAP program, therefore the state will inculcate them into the project as a partner especially in areas of data provision, community enlightenment and orientation.
Speaking earlier, the Project Director of CS-SUNN, Mrs. Beatrice Eluaka said the organization is a Non-governmental, non-profit making coalition, made up of organizations with a shared vision to transform Nigeria into a country where every citizen has food and nutrition is secured.
She added that CS-SUNN pursues this lofty goal by engaging and mobilizing Government, and Non-State Actors to advocate for relevant Policy implementation, raise awareness, generate evidence, build capacity and stimulate communities to scale-up nutrition in Nigeria, with especial focus on maternal and child nutrition.
Mrs. Eluaka also disclosed that nutrition is a development issue but often seen from the health because when people don’t have food or did not know how to prepare their food, there is going to be a nutritional problem. But when they become stunting and wasting it becomes a health issue which sometimes is very difficult to address.
While presenting the advocacy report to Her Excellency, Kaduna State Coordinator of CS-SUNN, Mr. Silas Spencer Ideva said, the coalition is designed with a common goal, clearly defined roles and responsibilities, clear accountability and sustainability framework.
“Our guiding principles includes; evidence based decision making, gender mainstreaming, equity, feed-back, diversity, value for money, transparency and integrity,” he said.
Mr. Ideva added that the key advocacy objectives of the coalition are for timely domestication, wide dissemination and implementation of the Kaduna State food and nutrition policy.
“Nutrition is the process involved in taking in, absorbing and utilizing nutrients for tissue growth, repairs and maintenance of body systems; adequate diet consists of all classes of food in the right proportion e.g staple foods, legumes, animal source foods, fruits, vegetables, fats/oils;
“Adequate nutrition is essential throughout the lifespan especially within the first 1000 days of life; the first 1000 days of life: begins with conception, through the mother’s pregnancy and up till the child is aged two years;
“A healthy mother is more likely to give birth to a healthy baby and have ability to look after the baby during this most critical period in a child’s development.” He said .
Mr. Ideva however said the coalition has challenges of none availability of State owned policy that is widely disseminated to direct program intervention hence limited funding.