The Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), says Kaduna State has achieved 63 per cent success in the implementation of the National Strategic Plan of Action for Nutrition (NSPAN) in 2016.
According to the CS-SUNN Score Card, the result is an improvement from the 37.5 per cent implementation recorded by the state in 2015.
The document described Nigeria as a country with the highest rate of stunted under-five children in sub-Sub-Saharan Africa and the second in the world, with the northern part of the country having the highest burden.
According to the report, the introduction of the national nutrition plan by the Federal Government in 2014 was to address the problem and the target of the plan was to reduce stunting by 20 per cent and low birth weight by 15 per cent by 2019 nationwide.
The plan also hoped to double the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months by 50 per cent.“The question to which this policy is being implemented created the need to review the implementation of the NSPAN in the three Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH) focal states,” the report noted.
The focal states are Kaduna, Niger and Nasarawa where CS-SUNN is leading the process.
It explained that the states were scored in seven key areas,behavior change communication, service delivery, capacity building, advocacy and resource mobilization, research monitoring and evaluation,Other areas include, coordination and multi-sectoral partnership, and provision of commodities and equipment.
Under behavior change communication meant to provide appropriate information about food and feeding practice, Kaduna state was scored 17.7 per cent in 2015 and 88.8 per cent in 2016.
On high impact nutrition interventions, the state scored 50 per cent in 2015 and 66 per cent in 2016, and 12. 5 per cent and 50 per cent respectively in improving capacity of service providers at all levels to provide core nutrition services and counseling.
The report added that Kaduna state rose in its rating from 37.5 per cent in 2015 to 62.5 per cent in 2016 in advocacy and resource mobilization aimed at increasing commitment and resources for nutrition programme.
Also, the state went from 16.6 per cent in 2015 to 50 per cent in 2016 in the key area of research, monitoring and evaluation meant to provide evidence based decision making and in enhancing public accountability.
The report indicated further that the state had 80 per cent success in improving coordinated action and relationship among ministries, department and agencies, as well as private sector and non-governmental organizations.
Another area rated by the CS-SUNN report was in the provision of commodities and equipment, effective distribution and maintenance of proper inventory and procurement system which was at zero level in 2015 but went up to 50 per cent in 2016.
The CS-SUNN Coordinator in the state, Mr Silas Ideva, commended the state government for the feat, saying it was on the right track in the effort to tackle malnutrition in the state.
He explained that the score card was developed by CS-SUNN with support from PACFaH and state and non-state nutrition actors.
“It was designed to measure the level of progress made by the state in implementing the NSPAN, to identify areas that require strengthening for improving nutrition and reducing malnutrition.
We were able to look at how the state has responded to the issues of malnutrition based on the provision of the NSPAN from 2015 to 2016.”
The group is currently tracking nutrition budget in all MDAs in the state to ensure adequate and timely release of funds for nutrition sensitive and specific interventions.