A recent baseline survey conducted by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has revealed that, in Kano state 800, 000 children of 6 to 59 months are stunted due to poor dietary intake.
The Co-Chair, Kano Emirate Council Committee on Health and Human Development (KECCoHD), Dr Dayyabu Muhammad disclosed this at Bichi in a one-day town hall meeting organized by KECCoHD in collaboration with the UNICEF.
The town hall meeting was convened as part of the outreach programme to educate community leaders on dietary diversity with a view to save 23, 508 children aged 6-23 months by ensuring that they have their diet increased to at least five food groups including one animal source protein.
Muhammad added that, the committee is also aiming at ensuring that 25,075 mothers and caregivers to children aged 6-23 months in Bichi and Sumaila local government areas are reached by counseling and education messages on improving dietary diversity
UNICEF Chief of Kano office, Maulid Warfa said that the dietary diversity initiative is a strategy to improve the feeding of children from 6 months to 23 months supposedly after the successful completion of exclusive breastfeeding.
According to him, the choice of Bichi and Sumaila for the model project was based on some proven scientific surveys done which he said had made it critical to start the practice with the 2 local governments, adding that the achievement to be recorded in these 2 local governments would determine the level of scaling up.
“Dietary diversity is a community driven process to help children grow healthy and to their full potential. Ingredients to help dietary diversity include among others like egg, milk, fish, soya beans, beans, groundnut paste, papaya, pumpkin, while continuing breastfeeding is critical in helping the baby grow healthy to his or her full potential,” he said.