Pharm. Ahmed Baba-Yahaya, Nasarawa State Commissioner for Health says the state government, World Bank and other development partners are working hard towards achieving zero prevalence of malnutrition in the state.
The Commissioner stated this in an interview with newsmen in Lafia.
According to him, the state government through a World Bank funded project, Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria (ANRiN) is providing services to 1, 869, 385 children, pregnant women, adolescent pregnant women and nursing mothers across the 13 Local Government Areas (LGAs)
He added that two non-state actors, Network Health Equity and Development (NHED) and APIN Public Health Initiative (APIN) were 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 in order to support optimal growth and enhanced Nutrition.
“They also counsel adolescent girls, pregnant women and nursing mothers on locally sourced nutritional foods in thier environments to prevent the infant and child growth defect (stunting),” the Commissioner added.
He added that the State Primary Health Care Development Agency is also providing three nutrition services.
He listed the services by Primary Healthcare to includes; Iron Folic Acid/Multiple Micronutrients Supplement, Sulfadoxine pyrimethamine and Maternal Infant and Young Child Nutrition Counseling to pregnant women in 100 primary health care centers.
He further said that with the number of children, pregnant women, adolescent pregnant women and nursing mothers so far reached, it is possible to achieve zero prevalence rate of malnutrition in the state in future.
He added that currently, they are providing seven services to 1, 869, 385 children, pregnant women and nursing mothers across the 13 LGAs of the state to tackle the scourge.
He said four of the services were being provided for children, while three are to pregnant women and nursing mothers.
“The interventions for children includes; Micronutrients Powder, Vitamin A supplementation, Deworming tablet, and Zinc & 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.
He added that the state was rated first performing in the safeguard aspect of the project in the country by the Federal Ministry of Health.
He also added that the state was also rated second, in Social Behavioral Change Communication, and third in Coordination of Development Partners, towards reducing the prevalence of malnutrition.
He also explained that health was one of the topmost priority of the government as such it would continue to be committed towards achieving universal healthcare coverage by making health accessible and affordable to all the citizens.
The Commissioner also used the opportunity to inform the public that the government had concluded plans to upgrade some medical facilities in the state to General Hospital.