By Philip Yatai, Zaria.
The Kaduna State Government says no fewer than 20,334 malnourished children were treated, out of the 34,039 admitted in various Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) sites across the state in 2022.
The state’s Nutrition Officer, Mrs Ramatu Haruna, made this known in Zaria on Tuesday at a two-day training on Nutrition Data Management, organised by the State Primary Health Care Development Board.
The training, supported by UNICEF, was for state officials, local government health authorities, nutrition focal persons and monitoring and evaluation officers.
Haruna said that of the total 34,039 admitted children, 23,505 were admitted in 2022, while 10,534 were brought forward from 2021.
She added that the total of 34,039 malnourished children admitted in 2022 was higher than the 28,524 recorded in 2021, adding that new admissions
also increased from 20,334 in 2021 to 23,505 in 2022.
Besides, Haruna said that the cure rate increased from 17,063 in 2021 to 20,334 in 2022.
She also said that the state recorded steady decrease in the number of deaths among children with severe acute malnutrition.
The nutrition officer pointed out that the number of deaths decreased from 323 in 2019 to 142 in 2020; and further down to 58 in 2021 and 37 in 2022.
Haruna explained that a total of 316,203 people were reached with key nutrition messages during support group meetings, of which, 75,107 were pregnant women and 63,901 were mothers of children below six months.
She said that others were 63,011 mothers of children of six months to 23 months, 55,248 women of childbearing age, 34,166 grandmothers and 24,635 men.
She attributed the successes recorded in improving the nutrition indices of children in the state to massive interventions by the state government, with support from development partners.
Haruna also said that the scale-up of CMAM, Community-Infant and Young Child Feeding and Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition programmes to local government areas in 2022 was quite helpful.
She said that the scale-up was supported by UNICEF and the World Bank-supported Accelerating Nutrition Result in Nigeria in 2022.
She identified other development partners supporting nutrition interventions in the state as Alive and Thrive, Save the Children International, Global Alliance for Improve Nutrition and Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria.
Haruna said: “The development has strengthened capacities, improved access to quality nutrition services for children under five years and improved knowledge and skills of parents and caregivers to adopt essential nutrition practices.
“This, among other interventions, has significantly contributed to the reduction of deaths of children with severe malnutrition.
“There was also a massive advocacy led by the State Committee on Food and Nutrition that mobilised stakeholders for proactive approach to improve nutrition indices in the state.
“Supportive supervision and review meetings equally helped in ensuring the delivery of quality nutrition services in health facilities.”
Earlier, Mrs Chinwe Ezeife, the Nutrition Specialist of UNICEF in Kaduna State, who spoke virtually, said that the nutrition data management training was very important, given the relevance of data in reporting the nutrition and health status of children.
She said that the training would help in tracking nutrition and health-related issues for decision making, improved nutrition intervention and help to track the quality of nutrition programmes.
Ezeife said: “Data are very dynamic, and its quality, accuracy and completeness are very important to overall programme and decision making, which will add up to the quality of life of children and human capital development.
“As such, every programme manager at all levels, local government and health facilities need to have hands-on practical skills around quality data and reporting.”