A total of 23,758 women in Zamfara have been trained in health education and nutrition under the Child Development Grant Programme of the DFID, an official said on Tuesday.
The State Team Leader, Mr Tanko Muhammad, made the disclosure during the quarterly meeting of the programme’s state steering committee, organised by Save the Children International, in Gusau.
The child development grant programme supports pregnant women and nursing mothers with N4,000 monthly in Zamfara and Jigawa states.
It is being implemented in Anka and Tsafe Local Government Areas of Zamfara.
Muhammad said that aside the N4, 000 grants, the programme also supports other complementary activities like health education and nutrition, to change the behaviours of beneficiaries toward child health and survival.
“From 2014 to date we carried out 649 food demonstration and health education sessions across the 339 communities in the two selected LGAs.
Apart from nutrition and health education, we also have water sanitation and hygiene exercises for community volunteers and traditional birth attendants among others all under behavioural change complementary activities.
Within the period under review, 41, 757 beneficiaries have been registered for the N4, 000 cash transfer project, out of which 15,688 graduated,’’ he said.
The official added that 26,069 women under the cash transfer project currently benefit from the programme in the two local government areas.
In his remarks, the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Bello Dankande said the programme has reduced maternal and infant mortality in rural communities of the two local governments.
Dankande commended the efforts of the DFID in supporting social protection activities in the state, stressing that the government was doing its best to reduce social problems in the society.
The commissioner commended the Save the Children and DFID for the project and assured them of the state government`s continued support including timely release of budgetary allocations for the programme.
“We have seen the impact of these projects in our communities especially at the rural level; we will continue to give our support for the success of the project.
We have seen the impact of this project especially in the areas of enlightening women at rural communities on health education for hygiene and food demonstration for child growth and development,’’ he said.
The Chairman of the programme’s steering committee, Alhaji Kabiru Gayari, said the meeting was organised to review achievement and challenges in the course of the implementation.
Gayari who is the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, commended the state government and chairmen of Anka and Tsafe local councils for their support.