By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
Senior Nutrition Officer of Save the Children, Seun Okediran has said that improving child nutrition was essential healthy growth.
Speaking recently in Abuja, during a one-day workshop organised by the Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ) in partnership with the International Society for Media in Public Health (ISMPH), said Save the Children’s Ambition for Children is that all children survive, learn and are protected.
At the workshop themed; “Facilitating the inclusion of child nutrition as a major component in the BHCPF,” the nutrition officer said, “2019 marks Save the Children’s 100th anniversary and we can achieve this by tackling childhood pneumonia which is the biggest infectious disease killing children worldwide; and protecting children in conflict. Improving child nutrition is essential to meeting these commitments, since malnutrition increases a child’s risk of contracting and dying from diseases such as pneumonia.
“Save the Children’s focus is on the first 1,000 days; from the start of a woman’s pregnancy through her child’s second birthday which is the timeframe that we call the “window of opportunity” for good nutrition. making two commitments to accelerate progress”.
She said the organization work with partners at global, regional, national, community and household levels to prevent and treat malnutrition by bringing multi-sectoral nutrition interventions to the most disadvantaged families.
“In Nigeria we partner with the Ministries of Health at the Federal and State levels, National and State Primary Health Care Development Agencies and other relevant MDAS to ensure nutrition is at the forefront of affairs and every child is given the right to optimum nutrition especially in the first thousand days.
“We believe that with the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) in place to provide for basic package of services in the Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCS), the PHCS will be of minimum standard to provide basic preventive and curative services to all Nigerians. It is therefore imperative that we all as stakeholders maximize this opportunity to ensure that the promotion of maternal, infant and child nutrition among pregnant women, mothers/caregivers of children under 2 at various contact points at PHC such as Antenatal care, outpatients clinic, Child-welfare/Growth monitoring clinic, immunization, family planning is forecasted and budgeted for by the In-charges of the PHCS as they are accountable for the implementation of the BHCPF at the Facility level.”