By Philip Yatai

The Kaduna State Commissioner for Health, Dr Amina Baloni, said on Wednesday that the state government was working on strengthening its multi-sectoral approach to addressing the scourge of malnutrition.

Baloni, who stated this in Kaduna on Wednesday, at the UNICEF and Kaduna State 2020 End of Year Review and Planning Meeting, described nutrition as a “critical” component of human capital development.

According to her, malnutrition is a multisectoral issue that requires a multisectoral approach to address, stressing that relevant sectors will have to work together to achieve significant results.

“Unless all relevant sectors collaborate and work together, we will not be able to achieve much.

“This is why the Human Capacity Development Council, chaired by the Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe developed a framework for nutrition intervention to strengthen coordination among different sectors and partners.

“The framework, approved by the state Executive Council in line with the State Multi-sectoral Strategic Plan of Action on Nutrition, would involve all relevant sectors and stakeholders.

“This will significantly strengthen the multisectoral approach to addressing the scourge of malnutrition.”

She urged development partners, government agencies and other stakeholders to work together to ensure that nutrition gets the attention it deserved.

The commissioner also urged all sectors to adequately provide for nutrition interventions in the work plan that would be develop for 2021.  

Earlier, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Kaduna, Dr Zakari Adam, said that UNICEF has expended more than N853.4 million in different sectors from January to October in the state.

Adam added that the support would amount to over a billion naira by the end of 2020.

He said that of the amount, N6.2 million was expended on nutrition programming and interventions, while N250.7 million was expended on health and HIV/AIDS.

He added that N35.8 million was spent on communication for development and polio communication.

“Others are child protection, N65.8 million, WASH, N475.2 million, basic education N14.9 million while N4.8 million was spent on social policy and planning, monitoring and evaluation.

“Financial and technical support are ongoing, and the figure will be over a billion by the end of 2020,” he said.

He said that the meeting was organised to review financial and programme implementation, to ascertain progress, challenges towards achieving the annual targets and to develop 2021 Work Plan.