Friday , October 30 2020

Nutrition stakeholders call for more consistent budget allocation to tackle SAM in Bauchi state

Nutrition stakeholders call for

By Ahmed Ahmed

Nutrition stakeholders in Bauchi state including the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and journalists have advocated for  a more consistent budgetary allocation to improve nutrition and tackle severe acute malnutrition (SAM) prevalent among children.

They made the call at a workshop to train CSOs and  journalists on budget tracking and utilisation organised by the International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH) on Monday in Bauchi.

Speaking  during the training, Mrs Abigail Hardo, the Executive Director of Aid-Connect for Development, an NGO, urged government to  salvage SAM in  the state by consistently allocating more budget line to  child nutrition  in the state.

She urged the state government to put in place a  Specific Strategic Plan of  Action for nutrition which should be implemented  with utmost commitment.

Hardo  pointed out that inadequate  funding  is the impediment to the implementation of nutrition interventions aimed at enhancing  child  nutrition.

She  also urged the government to put in place sustainable budget lines for nutrition  and ensure timely cash backing for  interventions around “Micronutrient powder”.

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According to her, the training would help to build the capacity of members of  CSOs and journalists in tracking  budget and utilisation.

Also, Mrs Comfort Attah, the Executive Director of the Attah Sisters Helping Hand Foundation  stressed the need for the government to increase  budgetary allocations  to nutrition in addition to  timely release of funds meant for maternal, infant and young children’s  feeding.

She  further emphasised the  need for mass sensitisation and awareness creation on promotion of adequate infant and young child feeding practices  as a means of  improving food supplement for  victims of SAM.

On her part, Mrs Bula Afsa  of NTA Bauchi,  said a lot needed to be done to ensure that government  places premium  greater  investment  in the supply of the food supplement while collaborating with  development partners to address the scourge of SAM among the children.

He advised  mothers to learn  good feeding practices, good personal hygiene and feed children with fortified fruits, vegetables and food,  saying that this would go a long way towards reduction of incidents of stunting and weight loss common with infants and young persons in the state.

The General Manager Albarka FM radio Bauch,Alhaji Dauda Ciroma, called on the government to provide  basic packages for nutrition services in all the Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in the state.

 A resource person, Mr Kenneth Okoineme said the training was aimed at strengthening  the capacity of participants  with modern  concepts in budget analysis and economy.

He urged the participants to strive at all times to make the state government accountable  with conviction  that it is important to fund nutrition among children  in order to manage and prevent SAM.

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The ISMPH programme manager,  Mr Solomon Dogo, urged the participants to discharge  the responsibility of sensitising the  government and educating the the citizens on  the scourge of SAM.

He also called on the participants to make good use of the knowledge acquired at the training to make a greater  impact on the relevant stakeholders regarding investment in good  nutrition aimed at  saving children from needless deaths in the state.

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