Oyo moves to tackle nutritional deficiency among women, children

June 3, 2021
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OYO State government, in collaboration with Safe the Children Nigeria and Solina Health, will over a three–year period increase utilization of quality cost-effective nutrition services for pregnant and lactating women, children and adolescent girls to improve their health and nutritional outcomes.

This is following the 2018 National Nutrition and Health Survey (NNHS) showing that malnutrition in Nigeria has not significantly reduced since the 1990s and putting prevalence of stunting, an indicator of chronic malnutrition, in Oyo state at 23 per cent.

Oyo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Bashir Bello, speaking at the onboarding of non-state actors of the Oyo State Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria (ANRiN) project, said that Safe the Children Nigeria and Solina Health are expected to find the missing gaps and to tackle factors mitigating nutrition deficiency in children.

He said those nutritional deficiencies in children if left unattended to could lead to unintelligent and less productive people in the future, hence the importance of the project to the state government

ANRiN’s project nutrition officer, Mr Adebayo Sanusi, in an overview of the state of nutrition in Oyo State said good nutrition promotes a win-win situation for all given that the effects of malnutrition in early childhood may be irreversible and contribute to a high level of infant morbidity, mortality and adult-onset of diet-related non-communicable diseases.

According to Mr Sanusi, focusing on the first 1000 days of life of a child is important because it is a crucial window of opportunity and any nutrition insult suffered during the period is irreversible.

He stated that preventing malnutrition delivers returns on investment with every naira spent in preventing malnutrition yielding 16 times in economic gains.

ANRiN’s state project coordinator, Dr Kadjat Alarape said that the intervention aims to increase utilization of quality, cost-effect nutrition services for pregnant women and lactating women, adolescent girls and children under five years of age in the state by providing micronutrient powders to children six months to 23 months to improve their quality of complementary feed, iron/folic acid supplementation for pregnant women.

In addition, she said there will be vitamin A supplementation for children aged six months to 59 months twice a year, deworming for children 12-59 months twice a year; zinc and oral rehydration solution for the treatment of diarrhoea in children; and intermittent presumptive treatment for malaria to pregnant women.

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