By IHIDERO Victor Osae, Kaduna
Premised on the effort to own and promote Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) in 203 communities in Kajuru local Government Area, the Local Government Council has committed the sum of N500,000 monthly for the Community-based infant and young child feeding programme in Kaduna State.
This development was made known in a statement made available to newsmen in by Rabiu Musa, Media and External Relations Officer, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office.
According to the statement, the local government chairman, Sani Magaji “has approved the monthly release of the N500,000 to promote IYCF. He is also committed to supervising the programme.
“The Chairman acknowledged that nutrition is high on their agenda and is committed to ensure the programme is a success.”
The programme according to UNICEF is one of the key pillars of Infant and young child feeding (IYCF) strategies and a key strategy for combating malnutrition and other diseases associated with high under five mortality rate.
The programme is part of UNICEF’s developed global counselling package to equip community and health facility workers to support caregivers to optimally feed their infants and young children.
The statement further explained that “In 2014, the USAID-funded SPRING project, UNICEF, and the Federal Ministry of Health united to evaluate the effectiveness of the Community Infant and Young Child Feeding (C-IYCF) Counselling Package in Nigeria.
“A fundamental aspect of this study is the sustainability and scale-ability of the intervention. Cost containment as well as local ownership and responsibility. December 2014, UNICEF, SPRING and SMOH met with Kajuru LGA Authorities and subsequently with the Ministry for Local Government.
“The LGA authorities and the Ministry for Local Government indicated their support for the implementation of the counselling package and allocated N500,000 for monthly monitoring of the infant and young child feeding programme.”
“Subsequently, in March, 2016, a total of 67 participants from Federal Ministry of Health, Kaduna State Ministry of Health and Human Services, Ministry for Local Government, Ministry of Budget and Planning, State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Local Government Areas, UNICEF and SPRING met.
“It was agreed that Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices are very poor and can be improved. After presentations and extensive deliberations one of the resolutions/recommendations were reached towards improving Nutrition and Child survival in the State was to release a total of N9m yearly (CIYCF N500,000/month, and CMAM 250,000/month) for each LGA.” The statement added.
Commenting on the development, the Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Kaduna, Uptal Moitra said,
“It is a welcome and positive development towards institutionalizing ownership of programme by the Local government authorities “.