From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Synergos Nigeria Country Director, Mr Adewale Ajadi has called for continuous nutritional interventions from government and other stakeholders to reduce the challenges confronting maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) in the country.
Ajadi made the call at the Kogi State Partnership for Agriculture (SPA)’s Agricultural Core Delivery Team (CDT) and Agricultural Visionary Group (AVG) meeting for the resuscitation of State Committee on Food and Nutrition (SCFN) held in Lokoja recently.
The Country Director who was represented by Mrs Esther Joshua, Kogi Field Assistant, said the call had become necessary in view of the fact that many of the thematic areas of nutrition still required support.
He said that in view of the fact that good nutrition was a prerequisite for the well-being of individuals and national development of countries Kogi state had also provided a budget line for Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture.
Ajadi noted that Synergos had supported capacity development of Extension Workers across Kaduna, Benue and Kogi states to deliver on Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture leading to promotion of home gardens.
Mr Bolarinwa Ogundisi, Senior Nutrition Officer, Kogi Ministry of Health presented a Situation Analysis on Nutrition (Vitamin A for age 6-59 months children) and Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Week Participation at the occasion.
He said that though nutrition-related problems affected the entire population, women and children were the most vulnerable because of their unique physiology and socio economic characteristics.
Ogundisi held that nutritional status of children under Age-5 was an important aspect of health as it determines their growth and development.
“The period from conception to age two is especially important for optimal physical, mental, and cognitive growth, health, and development of the child.”
He said that 15.4 per cent of children population under age-5 in Kogi were underweight; exclusively breast-fed account for 32 per cent while 28.6 per cent suffer from stunting and wasting is 8.5 per cent of them suffer wasting as revealed by (MICS 2016/2017).
He disclosed that MNCH week was being held biannually in the 21 Local Government Areas and 239 wards using 717 health facilities in the State, supported by UNICEF and some other donor agencies.
Ogundisi said Vitamin A Coverage in the state as at December 2017 was 86 per cent adding that Kogi had been consistent in the implementation of MNCH week with full supplementation of micro nutrients like Vitamin A, Iron folate plus deworming.
He revealed that Kogi had been selected as one of the 12 states to benefit from the World Bank supported Accelerated Nutrition Project for women and children under age-5 and aged people.