Alive & Thrive has launched a programme to increase access to high quality maternal, infant and young children’s nutrition services in seven states of Nigeria: Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Sokoto and Yobe.
Speaking during the launch of the programme called: “Accelerating the Scale of Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) Project”, yesterday in Abuja, the Minister of State for Health, Joseph Ekumankama, said it came at a time when there was dire need to accelerate interventions aimed at reducing malnutrition among women and children in the country.
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Represented by the Director of Family Health in the ministry, Dr Salma Ibrahim Anas, he said it would not only accelerate maternal and young child feeding interventions, but would greatly impact the nutrition narrative in the country by directly addressing nutrition issues affecting mothers and children at the grassroots.
He said cost-effective maternal nutrition interventions played important roles in improving the health of mothers and their children.
Alive & Thrive’s Country Director, Dr Victor Ogbodo, said the programme was working to build capacity of community-based organisations, strengthen primary healthcare platforms for efficient and integrated delivery of maternal and young child nutrition services in collaboration with government, the community-based organisations and other nutrition stakeholders.
He further said it built on the successes and learning realised during its first five years in Nigeria, adding that during the first phase, and by working with national, state, local government and community actors, Alive and Thrive reached more than 2,809,686 mothers with nutrition counselling by trained frontline workers, and also reached over four million caregivers with television and radio messages on appropriate optimal infant and young child feeding practices.
Speaking on behalf of the focal states, the Commissioner for Health in Kano State, who was represented by Dr Tijani Hussain, the Executive Secretary of the State Primary Health Care Management Board, said the project would complement what the states did, assuring that the states would provide the needed support to make sure the project succeeded.