By Philip Yatai

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) have trained Officers In-Charge of Primary Healthcare Centres in Kaduna State, on minimum package for nutrition in functional Primary Health Care centres (PHC).

Mr Silas Ideva, CS-SUNN’s Coordinator in the state, said at the opening of the training in Kaduna that the capacity building was to bridge the knowledge gap among Officers In-Charge of PHCs in the state.

Ideva explained that NPHCDA along with CS-SUNN and key partners had developed guidelines on Minimum Nutrition Package in a functional PHC.

He added that the document had been presented to the Kaduna State Ministry of Health and State Primary Health Care Board for their buy-in.

He, however, noted that training of health workers on current practices has not been conducted.

“This training, therefore, is necessary, given the high morbidity and mortality being recorded due to poor nutrition intake by women and children which was compounded by the outbreak of COVID-19,” he said.

Also speaking, Mr Cletus Ameh, Operations and Technical Officer, NPHCDA, said that the objective of the training was to build the capacity of the head of PHCs on the minimum nutrition package.

Ameh also said that the training was also organised for the officers in charge of the PHCs to share experience on exclusive breast feeding and how to improve practice in communities.

According to him, the goal of the minimum package for nutrition is to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with malnutrition with a view to contribute to national socio-economic development.

“The objective is to uniformly define the minimum standards for PHC staffing, commodities, equipment and services at PHCs, to improve access and quality of nutrition services.

“To build the capacity of health workers and CHIPS Agents on effective implementation of nutrition services to include updates on current practices and procedures.

“The objective is to also ensure availability of quality interventions that address nutrition needs of the population, especially the most vulnerable.

‘It is also to strengthen the monitoring, evaluation and supportive supervisions of services implemented at health centers and community levels.”

He added that the nutrition service in PHCs and communities would be implemented using the life circle approach that developed nutrition interventions from preconception, conception to old age.