Kwara begins nutrition treatments for children

Tunde Akanbi, Ilorin

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The Kwara State Government has  flagged off a campaign against chronic malnutrition with the Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria, ANRiN officially launched to boost nutrition among children and women.

The ANRiN, facilitated by the Nigerian is a World bank-assisted Project designed to encourage consumption of nutritious food/supplements among the citizens of the participating States, especially pregnant or lactating women and children.

According to Secretary to the Kwara State Government Professor Mamman Saba Jibril, “Our decision to key into ANRiN followed the unsavory news that 238,171 out of every 696,405 children under 5 years of age in Kwara are stunted, a development that is an evidence of chronic malnutrition and a potent socioeconomic threat to the Stat.”

Professor Jibril  urged Kwarans to visit the primary health centres nearest to them to access the services.

He called the ANRIN a bold step to address malnutrition by increasing the utilisation of high quality and cost effective nutrition interventions among pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls, and children under the age of five years.

“We are proud to say that Kwara State, which could have dropped out of the list of 11 states shortlisted for the intervention, is privileged to be on board because our administration promptly paid the first ever counterpart funds of N50m.

“This means that our pregnant women and children will benefit from ANRiN as the implementation of the project begins today across the 16 local government areas of the state. By this, our mothers and children, especially the under-fives, will henceforth have free access to an array of nutrition-related treatments across the Primary Health Centres in the state. There will be provision of micro nutrient powders, zinc/ORS to children, iron and folic acid tablets for pregnant and lactating women, high calories food for malnourished children, Vitamin A for children, malaria-preventing drugs to pregnant women, and deworming of children, among other benefits,” he explained.

Professor Jibril represented Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.

The flag off event was attended by  was attended by the Chairman Kwara State House Committee on Health and representative of the Kwara State First Lady, Abdulrasak Owolabi; representative of the Federal Ministry of Health Dr Kamil Soretire; Permanent Secretary Kwara State Ministry of Health Dr. Rhoda Ajiboye.

Others at the event were Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information and Communications, AbdulGaniyu Mustapha; representative of the World Bank, Sangeeta Carol Pinto; Magaji Are and representative of the Emir of Ilorin Aremu Zubair.

The World Bank official at the event,Pinto, commended the government for keying into the programme, saying the partnership on ANRiN will go a long way in curbing child and maternal mortalities in the State.

 

Confidence Okwuchi