UNICEF urges FG, states to invest more on nutrition, health

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The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has called on the Federal and State Governments to invest more in budgetary allocations for nutrition and health sector.
Mr Nwogu Kelechukwu, the Consortium Coordinator, Integrated Basic Nutrition Response to Humanitarian Crisis, made the appeal on Wednesday in Gombe at the final project review and close out meeting of the Integrated Basic Nutrition Response to Humanitarian crisis in Borno and Yobe, including Multisectorial Pilot (INP).
He said the government also needs to sustain and build on the project by the INP and other donors for quality healthcare delivery and more development to be achieved.
According to him, the objective of the meeting is to identify, discuss and document project success, identify areas for improvement and make recommendations for future projects, among other things.
He said the project was successfully implemented in the states of Borno and Yobe from April 2016 to March 2019, and funded by the UK Department for International Development (UK-DfID).
According to him, the programme succeeded in partnership with UNICEF, Federal and State Ministries of Health as well as Primary Healthcare Development Agencies.
“The impact of the INP contributed toward the reduction of morbidity and mortality related to under nutrition among boys and girls under-five years.
“This is a unique project that addresses malnutrition and some basic causes of malnutrition to protect some children,” he said.
According to him, INP has trained people in communities on agricultural businesses to have a living, provide potable water and it also addressed the problem of open defecation.
Ms Ijeoma Agwu, the Programme Officer, DfID, called on the government to ensure sufficient funding for the health sector.
She said this would make health facilities to be properly resourced with staff, essential drugs and medical supplies to carry out its activities.
“In turn, we implore our government counterparts to ensure that gains made with the funding from the UK public under the INP programme are not lost.
“Where structures and equipment have been restored, they must now be maintained.
“And where staff have been trained they must now be supported to continue to be able to carry out their life-saving work,” she urged. (NAN)

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