Some health workers in Nasarawa State have commended the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for its efforts in tackling malnutrition among children in the state.
They said UNICEF achieved the feat through capacity building for health workers and the provision of the Ready to Feed Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) free of charge to malnourished children.
The health workers made the commendation at the ongoing six-day capacity building for 32 participants on Community Infant and Young Child Feeding Counseling package in Nassarawa.
They appreciated the giant steps taken by UNICEF towards bettering the health and standard of living of infants and young children in the state.
Mrs Halima Yusuf, the Nutrition Officer, Nasarawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA), commended UNICEF for training and re-training health workers for effective healthcare service delivery in the state.
“This training will have significant impact on the children because Infant and Young Child Feeding goes a long way in preventing acute malnutrition. UNICEF have been supporting us to the best of their ability in order to improve on the lives of the children,” she said.
Mr Lucas Karma, another participant, who is also the Nutrition Officer, Primary Health Care Department of Akwanga Local Governmet Area, also commended UNICEF for being up and doing in improving the health status of children in the state.
“We appreciate UNICEF for the programme and we call for its sustenance.
“UNICEF has being assisting us through capacity building and provision of funds to ensure that the health status of children are improved in the state,” he said.
Another participant, Mrs Blessing Tali of Andaha PHC in the area, also expressed her happiness with the training.
“UNICEF have impacted knowledge on us on how to take care of children especially in the area of breast feeding and nutrition,” she said.
Mr Mohammed Abdullahi from Katanza Primary Health Care, Akwanga LGA, also commended UNICEF for building their capacity.
“I must say that UNICEF is trying towards improving on the health and standard of living of children,” he said.
On April 3, the Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Kaduna, Dr Zakari Adam, while addressing the participants reiterated the position of UNICEF in supporting government on actions aiming to improve access to health, nutrition, education and WASH services towards survival and optimal development of Children.
Adam told the Executive Chairman of the area, Mr Samuel Meshi, that government had to provide budgetary allocations/funds and other resources for increased coverage of these services towards ensuring that adequate rights of children especially as it related to health, nutrition, education and other child protection services were sustained.
He explained further that Akwanga LGA is among the three LGAs (Akwanga, Keffi and Lafia) benefiting from Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) programme.
He added that this programme involved treatment of children with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) with Ready to Feed Therapeutic Floods (RUTF).
He said that Children Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) was the donor collaborating with UNICEF and Nasarawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency for procurement and supply of RUTF in the state.
“As well as mobilising community and households with SAM children to take them to the nearest designated health facility,” he said.
He emphasised that the treatment was free, adding that another major innovation to the training is the inclusion of basic WASH procedures and key messages.