BY: Auwal Abubakar
In a press conference to flag up the scaling up of Community -Based Management of Acute Malnutrition in the State, the Honourable Commissioner State Ministry of Health, Dr. Fatima Atiku Abubakar said Adamawa State is one of the 36 States of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and is located in the North East Geo-Political zone of Nigeria with poor maternal and child health indices, malnutrition among under 5 children is unacceptably high with over 800,000 children under 5 stunted (SMART 2015), 38% of under Fives are severely malnourished. However, the nutrition survey conducted in 2015 in the state shows that only 18% of children under-six months were exclusively breastfed in the state. Children from 0-6 months who are not breastfeed have 5 and 7 times risk of dying from pneumonia and diarrhoea respectively
The state is faced with poor community infrastructure for health promotion, poor funding of programmes leading to low engagement of appropriate number of skilled manpower. Low capacity at State, LGA and Community levels to adequately implement health promotion activities. Also there is poor availability of funds and logistics to adequately carryout population based high impact health interventions.
Today, as part of the Adamawa State government effort to consolidate the “Bindow for Social Change (BSC) agenda of transforming the state in the areas of infrastructure, agriculture, education, health, social services and the entire state economy”. The government is partnering with UNICEF to improve the maternal and child Health Indices to improve access to quality childcare and maternal services to save and increase the life expectancy and quality of life.
To reduce morbidity and mortality rates due to malnutrition and to reverse the increasing prevalence of acute malnutrition. The State created the Adamawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency, the agency that is responsible for the provision of quality primary health care services, including nutrition, to the estimated 4.2 million people of the state.
In pursuant of one of its mandate to increase access to healthcare services by improving geographical equity and access to health services. ADSPHCDA is partnering with UNICEF to strengthen the provision of quality health care services by preventing children from getting to the stage of severe malnutrition that will require treatment.
Therefore, there is an immediate need to improve Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices.
• Promotion of exclusive breast feeding with adequate complementary foods until 24 months and beyond as well as improvement of hygiene practices.
• Promote collaboration among health facilities and the local community through strengthening referral of pregnant and lactating mothers from health facilities to mother support groups.
• Ensuring support of exclusive breastfeeding and continued breastfeeding up to 2 years through enhancing follow up at the facility and at the mother to mother support group level
• Strengthening of local complementary feeding practices of children 6-23 months so as to improve diversification and adequate consumption through sensitization at the mother support groups, use of local messages, encouraging local production and complementary cooking demonstrations
• Ensuring support for optimal care in mother to mother support groups- Strengthening of community support for IYCF through training of health Workers and community volunteers. This will encourage sustained breastfeeding beyond six months to two years or and beyond, alongside the introduction of appropriate, adequate and safe complementary foods in mother support groups, engaging mother in law, men/partners and community leaders/faith based leaders in sensitization efforts.
• Development of training materials and training of health workers- Context specific training material will be developed to be used in the mother support groups, health works training and the community volunteers training. These materials will be sensitive to the culture and religious practices
• Establish a surveillance system that regularly monitor the nutrition situation to provide evidence based timely response in Adamawa
• Targeting of both IDP and host communities to complement the already existing programs targeting the management of acute malnutrition.
Adamawa State Ministry of Health in collaboration with UNICEF and State Primary Health Care Development Agency had a press conference on community -based management of acute malnutrition scale up programme in the state.
The essence of the press conference is to brief media on the progress made so far made by the state government and unicef on Nutrition Intervention, including community – based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM ); micronutrients supplementation and improving infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices in Adamawa state.
In his remarks, the unicef media consultant Mr. Samuel Kaalu said the main aim of the intervention is to reduce high burden of sever acute malnutrition and maternal deaths. “ unicef work with government, communities, traditional and religious leaders and non governmental organisations including the media to implement it programmes.”
In his brief Statement, the chief of Field office Dr. Abdullahi Kaikai said the sum of 38,000,000.00 has been spent to procure RUTF since CMAM inception from 2011 to 2015 and support the treatment of 31,415 children from June 2011 to date; Training, Supportive supervision and monitoring while 682,823 children received vitamin A supplementation.
The scale up services will cover following LGAs to complement existing services
CMAN, IYCF and MNP has Lamurde, Numan, Shelleng, Jada, Mayobelwa, Michika, Madagalio and Toungo
IYCF and MNP has Demsa, Mubi south, Fufore, Mubi North, Maiha, Hong, and Gombi
IYCF MNP Supplementation has Yola North and South, Girei, Song, Guyuk and Ganye
Finally, the Honourable Commissioner inform UNICEF that Adamawa state government has been partnering for a longtime and has done a lot to strengthening healthcare system and call on all the relevant Agencies to support and ensure its success.