By Adam Alqali
In a bid to strengthen its fight against severe acute malnutrition, Kano state, which has one of the highest figures of stunted children in Nigeria, is planning to scale up the number of its Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) centres.
This statement was made by the state commissioner of health, Kabiru Getso, while speaking to journalists at a high-level advocacy meeting held Tuesday in Kano to familiarize stakeholders on the provisions of Nigeria’s National Strategic Plan of Action for Nutrition (NSPAN) organized by the Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) with the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
“Kano state is working to scale up the numbers of CMAMs by the first quarter of the year 2017, we are planning towards that and all necessary approvals have been granted,” said Health Commissioner Kabiru Getso who was speaking through Imam Wada, director in charge of public health at the state’s health ministry.
“But the bottom line is educating mothers on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding, personal hygiene, and maternal and child nutrition. So, behavioral change communication is very important in the campaign against severe acute malnutrition.”
According to the 2015 National Nutrition and Health Survey (NNHS) which was based on the World Health Organization’s classification of malnutrition, 51.9% of children in Kano state are stunted. The state, which is the most populous in Nigeria, at the moment, has only 6 CMAM centers.
In a press release made available to journalists at the end of the meeting, CS-SUNN called on the Kano state government to, among others, ensure adequate budgetary allocation for the full implementation of the 2014-2019 National Strategic Plan of Action for Nutrition (NSPAN) and create specific budget lines for nutrition in the state’s ministries of health, education and agriculture.
The successful implementation of NSPAN in Kano will help reduce drastically the pathetic figures of children suffering from various forms of malnutrition across the state which is in accordance with Goal 2 of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which aims to end hunger, improve nutrition and achieve food security by 2030.