By Abubakar Jimoh
The Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, has assured of the administration’s commitment to sustain prevention and treatment of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in the state through constructive synergy and enhanced working relation with Civil Society groups.
He gave this assurance during a courtesy visit to him by a group of Civil Society Organisations led by Civil Society Legislative Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC).
The Governor called for an immediate technical meeting between the State Government and Civil Society groups to be led by CISLAC, primarily to develop a comprehensive work plan with SAM preventive and curative strategy for implantation.
He said: “Every project in Jigawa State has a plan including contracting projects. A comprehensive work plan with implementation strategy is paramount to guide nutrition interventions.
“This is why we operate participatory budget for exhaustive consultation and input of the public including Civil Society groups.
“CISLAC will coordinate other CSOs in choosing date and operating protocols for this meeting.
“The technical meeting will identify yet-to-reach Local Government Areas in the state for extensive coverage of Community-based Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) activities.”
Alhaji Abubakar recounted some ongoing preventive measures initiated by the State Government towards addressing SAM including regular community sensitisation and awareness and micro-credit scheme to promote agricultural productivity.
“The State is currently planning to mainstream cluster farming into agricultural activities in the state through capacity building and sustained empowerment services to farmers.
“As part of the effort towards the prevention, we will integrate nutrition as part of cluster farming,” he added.
Earlier during the visit, Chioma Kanu, Programme Manager (Health and Social Inclusion), CISLAC, commended the State Government for the implementation of Social Protection Policy and Food and Nutrition Policy as part of the efforts to address malnutrition challenges in the state.
“We are not unaware that in the 2020 Appropriation Act, 100 million naira was allocated for the procurement of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) in Jigawa State, in addition to 150 million naira dedicated by State House of Assembly in their constituency project, primarily to avert dreaded impacts of stock-out of RUTF across CMAM facilities,” she applauded.
According to Kanu, sustained CMAM activities remains paramount to complement existing efforts at enhancing preventive and curative measures against Severe Acute Malnutrition in Jigawa state.
She called on the State Government to prioritize integration of RUTF as part of Essential Medicine List in the state, to ensure sustained treatment of existing SAM cases in the state; ensure extension of CMAM intervention to yet-to-reach Local Government Areas in Jigawa State to ensure adequate coverage and mitigate reported default cases.
Kanu also advocated coordinated multi-sectoral approach to financing nutrition through constructive synergy and integrated nutrition budgetary allocation and service delivery across the line Ministries, Departments and Agencies with adequate budgetary allocation, cash-backing and timely release of nutrition fund to ensure sustained intervention.
“We call on the State Government to increase recruitment of nutritionists to effectively administer nutrition care; with adequate training and retraining programmes for health care workers at Primary Health Care to ensure efficient service delivery on nutrition care at grassroots level.
“Also promoting integrated farming, value innovation and re-orientation in traditional agriculture production will promote standardisation for healthy consumption,” she urged.