Coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Niger state has called on the state government to deploy nutrition personnel to primary healthcare centers across the 25 Local Government Areas of the state to check cases of malnutrition.
The CSOs under the auspices of Partnership for Improving Nigeria Nutrition Systems (PINNS), made this call after a two-day meeting aimed at harmonizing nutrition and health issues across the benefiting states.
For issues of malnutrition to be brought under control, the state government needs to ensure that all Primary Healthcare Care facilities have a Nutritionist or health personnel trained to undertake services bothering on nutrition, the State Coordinator PINNS, Mr. Felix Igba said.
Felix said, “Even if the government cannot employ staff to man the PHCs, we have focal facilities in each local government area and the facilities should have at least a trained nutritionist to provide needed services to reduce malnutrition indices across the State”.
Igba blamed the rising spate of malnutrition to lack of funds provided to line Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to be used in solving rising mal-nutrition among, especially the low-income Nigerlites.
He further explained that “We are also calling on the government to ensure that funds allocated to nutrition activities are released and in good time. We are having these indices because of lack of funds and inadequate nutrition personnel”.
Speaking earlier, the Niger State Nutrition Officer (SNO), Hajiya Asmau Mohammed, painted a frightening picture about malnutrition indices across the three senatorial districts, a situation she said are not too pleasant and therefore needed urgent steps to achieve improved results.
Asmau Mohammed lamented over the spate of malnutrition and encouraged well-meaning Nigerlites to support the State government in curtailing cases of malnutrition in the State because “The fight against malnutrition does not involve the government alone”.
According to her, “Parents are also responsible for these unpleasant malnutrition indices but the state government has decided to take it up because it cannot close its hands and continue to look at the situation”.
“We are trying to come up with so many angles to address the rising cases of malnutrition”, Hajiya Asmau said as she solicited for the support of well-meaning private and corporate organizations to check malnutrition among rural dwellers.