COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A RETREAT FOR RELEVANT COMMITTEES IN JIGAWA STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ON THE PREVENTION AND TREATMENT OF SEVERE ACUTE MALNUTRITION AS A CHILD RIGHT ORGANISED BY CIVIL SOCIETY LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY CENTRE (CISLAC) AT QUARTER HOUSE HOTEL, KANO STATE ON 30TH JANUARY, 2020.
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) organized a retreat for relevant Committees in Jigawa State Assembly on prevention and treatment of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) as a child right. The retreat aimed at enlightening members of relevant committees on SAM issues and how they can ensure that SAM is recognised as a human right issue and prioritization of funding for the Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) and Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) through appropriate legislative process. After deliberating exhaustively on various thematic issues, the following observations and recommendations were made:
- While malnutrition reduces the GDP of a nation by 8%, Nigeria records the highest burden of malnutrition in Africa.
- Malnutrition impedes physical growth and cognitive development of child with no fewer than 2.5million children affected in Northern Nigeria.
- Jigawa State presently records 9,208 cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition with 1,510 cartons (plus 8,000 from Federal Ministry of Health) of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) available for the treatment, while effort is in place to sustain supply, avert stock-out and scale-up to other LGAs.
- The dreaded impact of malnutrition include monumental economic and productivity losses, irreparable potential loss, increased susceptibility to communicable diseases and other infections.
- With the Universal Declaration of Human Right, Child Right Act, adequate nutrition status constitutes a Child Right in Nigeria.
- Sustained Community-based Management of Severe Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) activities remain paramount to complement existing efforts at enhancing preventive and curative measures against Severe Acute Malnutrition in Jigawa State
- With the recent development integrating RUTF as part of the National Essential Drug list, adequate and sustainable procurement of RUTF remain paramount to combat existing cases of SAM in the state.
- Jigawa State Government has commenced implementation of Social Protection Policy and Food and Nutrition Policy as part of the efforts to address malnutrition challenges in the state.
- In the 2020 Appropriation Act, 100miilion was allocated for the procurement of RUTF in Jigawa state, in addition to 150million dedicated by State House of Assembly in their constituency project.
- Adequate and exclusive breastfeeding to enhance physical and cognitive development of a child for productive and fulfilling life.
- Monitoring and tracking of related nutrition issues at constituency levels by Members of the State House of Assembly for well-informed and proactive legislative intervention.
- Male involvement in the preventive and curative process of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) to encourage mothers in reporting cases of SAMat all levels.
- Prompt advocacy effort by Jigawa State House of Assembly, to have RUTF listed as part of Essential Medicine List in the state.
- Encouraged local production of RUTF for sustained procurement and supply at all levels.
- Extension of CMAM intervention to yet-to-reach Local Government Areas in Jigawa State to ensure adequate coverage and mitigate reported default cases.
- Continued capacity development to all stakeholders on Severe Acute Malnutrition in all ramifications to ensure collective intervention.
- Adequate budgetary allocation, cash-backing and timely release of nutrition fund to ensure sustained intervention, with strengthened oversight activities by the State House of Assembly on the releases and utilisation of funds.
- Members committed to immediately hold a collaborative meeting among Chairs of relevant Committees on SAM and present recommendations to the Rt. Honourable Speaker to engage the Executive Governor.
- Embark on exhaustive SAM debate at various plenary sessions of the State Assembly to ensure appropriate legislative intervention.
- State Assembly has committed to allocate part of constituency project to procurement of RUTF.
- Executive Secretary Jigawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Secretary Food and Nutrition Committee, State Nutrition Officer and Commissioner Ministry for Local Government, to appear before the House of Assembly on 5thFebruary, 2020 to discuss on the releases of 2020 budget and utilization of Local Governments contribution for the procurement of RUTF.
- Sulaiman Musa Kadira-Deputy Speaker
- Aliyu Ahmad Aliyu-Chairman Committee on Health
- Sani Sale- Chairman Committee on Women Affairs
- Haruna Aliyu Dangyatin- Chairman Committee on Water Resources
- Hassan Keriya-Chairman Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources
- Abubakar Saddiq Jallo-Chairman Committee on Finance, Budget & Economic Planning
- Siraj Muhammad-Chairman Committee on Education.
- Comrade Muhammad Musbahu Basirka-Chairman Jigawa Civil Society Forum.