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Nasarawa Governor Sule launches action plan on food, nutrition to address child, maternal mortality

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By our reporter, Lafia

Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has launched a multi-sectoral action plan on food and nutrition to tackle persistence of child and maternal mortality in the state.

Sule while speaking at the event in Lafia which was organized by the State Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning, explained that his administration became interested in proffering adequate solutions to the matter owing to the burden of malnutrition across the 13 local government areas of the state which he said was unacceptably high.

According to him, the policy on food and nutrition would serve as a guide for the identification, design and implementation of the intervention activities across the various ministries and MDAs to ensure adequate nutrition and health of residents of the state.

He, however, posited that the ministries and MDAs to include Ministry of Health; Ministry of Education; Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development; Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning; Ministry of Information; State Emergency Management Agency, among others.

His words, “As you are aware, malnutrition is critical to health as well as human development. It is imperative to improve the infant and maternal health, safer pregnancies and child births.

“It is for this reason that the state government will remain committed in strengthening the nutrition value chain because it plays an important role in the development of our bodies by making our immune systems stronger.”

Governor Sule while appreciating the Global Alliance For Improved Nutrition for partnering with the government on the project, expressed confidence that
malnutrition will soon be completely eradicated in the state.

In his remarks, the representative of the United Nation’s Children’s Fund, Jane Amwe, applauded the state government for initiating the plan of action to tackle malnutrition in the state, promising that the UNICEF would give necessary assistance for the actualization of the project.

Her words, “We (UNICEF) congratulate the state for having a work document and for the timely release of funding and implementation of activities as planned. We are all aware that food and nutrition are a critical part of health and development.

“A government that invests in nutrition is a government that wants development for her people. The UNICEF will therefore, continue to give the state much needed support, mostly technically to achieve her goals.”

On her part, the state Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Planning, Munira Abdullahi thanked the dignitaries for finding time to attend the programme despite their busy schedules, noting that the ministry had been tasked with the coordinating, implementation and resource mobilization of the multi-sectoral plan which is from July 2023 to June 2028.

Earlier, the Executive Secretary of CS-SUNN, Mr. Sunday Okoronkwo appreciated governor Sule for a significant milestone of launching the document.

He noted that CS-SUNN has been a friend of the state, actively working towards the eradication of malnutrition for years through advocacy, supporting the development of policy and the plan amongst others.

He lamented that the level of implementation of the old strategic plan was not encouraging, attributing it to poor funding.

He, however, urged the state governor to give almost priority to the new plan when it comes to funding, stressing the need to invest in the counterpart funding opportunity leveraging on the child nutrition fund for the procurement of nutrition commodities, particularly the Multiple Micronutrient Supplement (MMS), in the state.

The one-day workshop was supported by nutrition partners to include Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), GAIN, Care and UNICEF which pave way for the official launching of the document.

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