By Philip Yatai
Kaduna State Government, with support from UNICEF, has taken steps to strengthen nutrition data management to improve decision-making and quality of service delivery across the state.
The State Nutrition Officer, Mrs Ramatu Haruna, stated this on Tuesday in Zaria at a two-day training on Nutrition Data Management, organised by the State Primary Health Care Board (KSPHCB).
The training, supported by UNICEF, was conducted for state officials, local government health authorities, nutrition focal persons and monitoring and evaluation officers.
Haruna noted that over the years, there have been challenges on data management at different levels, adding that the training was to increase capacity and enhance skills in nutrition data management.
“Currently, the state, in partnership with UNICEF, is implementing Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) in 107 Out-Patient Therapeutic Centres in 21 local government areas (LGAs).
“Also, the Community Infant and Young Child Feeding programme is being implemented in the whole 23 LGAs of the state.
“Data from these activities are collected periodically and shared with all stakeholders at all levels for decision making,” she said.
The State Integrated Data Control Coordinator, Mr Jibril Isah, said that the objective of the training was to strengthen competencies of HMIS and nutrition officers on the National HMIS data collection tools.
He added that the training was also to strengthen the competencies of participants to conduct robust desk reviews and analysis of programme data and also conduct supportive supervision strategies focused on data quality.
Also, Dr Neyu Iliyasu, Director, Family and Community Health Services, KSPHCB, highlighted the key role of quality data in decision making for nutrition and other health services.
Iliyasu pointed out that improving the capacity of data managers would significantly improve the quality of nutrition data across the council areas to enable the local councils and state government make informed decisions.
Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF Kaduna State, Mrs Chinwe Ezeife, said that the training was crucial to ensuring effective data management for result-oriented decision making that would improve nutrition indices in the state.
Ezeife, who spoke virtually, encouraged the nutrition focal persons and the HMIS officers to take the issue of quality data management seriously to improve the quality of nutrition service delivery.
“The nutrition data management training is very important for UNICEF given the relevance of data in reporting the nutrition and health status of children.
“It will help to track where the issues are for decision making, for improving nutrition intervention and helping in tracking the quality of nutrition programmes.
“Data is very dynamic, and its quality accuracy and completeness are very important to the overall programme and decision making, which will add up to the quality of life of children and human capital development.
“As such, every programme manager at all levels, local government and health facilities have to have hands-on practical skills around quality data and reporting,” she said.
Also, the Information Management Specialist, Nutrition Section, UNICEF Nigeria, Ms Jieun Yeom, who took the participants through CMAM and CIYCF data tools virtually, stressed the importance of data quality.
According to her, poor data quality will lead to poor result outcomes and waste of resources.