Kaduna State Government says it will soon recruit 18 nutritionists for its renovated 255 Primary Health Centres (PHCs), particularly in rural areas, to curb cases of malnutrition in the state.
Dr Hamza Abubakar, Executive Secretary of the state’s Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA) made this known when a delegation of nutrition partners paid him a visit on Monday, in Kaduna.
The nutrition partners are UNICEF, Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), SCI, Alive and Thrive (FHI360), and the National Orientation Agency.
These partners have been pushing for improved nutrition funding in the state.
Abubakar said the 18 nutritionists would be part of the 3,059 health workers to be recruited by the state government soon.
He said this was aimed at improving access to quality nutritional services in the state, particularly in rural areas.
According to him, the agency will consider allocating adequate funds for nutrition programmes to boost healthcare services in the state.
Earlier, Malam Isah Ibrahim, Nutrition Advocacy Adviser, Save the Children International, said that none of the 255 PHCs had a trained nutritionist to provide professional services.
Ibrahim reiterated that the intervention would enable the agency implement specific nutrition programmes, currently being supported by development partners.
“We equally want the state government to ensure that PHC workers are properly trained on the integrated delivery programmes for maximum impact,” he said.
Also, Mr Silas Ideva, State Coordinator, CS-SUNN, pointed out that malnourished children in the state would continue to die if funding remained low.
Ideva, who was represented by Abdulrahaman Mikail, CS-SUNN’s Chairman, Sub-Committee on Finance and Fund Raising, commended the state government for the increased attention to nutrition issues.