From Femi Oyelola, kaduna
Worried by the increasing incidence of malnutrition -related infant mortality in Kaduna State , the government in partnership with nutrition stakeholders has launched the first ever multimedia campaign to improve Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices (IYCF).
The campaign themed, Start Strong was launched yesterday by wife of the Governor of Kaduna state and the Chairperson of Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan (KADENAP), Aisha Ummi Garba El-Rufai.
The campaign championed by the state Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA) , the State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan (KADENAP) and supported by Alive & Thrive project, with funding from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is a unique initiative that will catalyze behavior change towards improving IYCF indices in Kaduna state.
The outcome of the Strat Strong campaign, according to a statement , is expected to contribute to the efforts of government and its stakeholders to strategically address and improve infant and young child feeding practices in the state.
“Kaduna state is launching this campaign to address the unsatisfactory status of IYCF in the state and the increasing incidence of malnutrition-related infant mortality.
“Available data indicate that malnutrition accounts for more than 50% of under-five mortality in the state. Infant Mortality rate is 103/ 1000 live births (NDHS 2013); Under 5 Mortality rates is 169/1000 live births (NDHS 2013); The rate of timely breastfeeding initiation is 28.9%( MICS 2017); Only 19.7% are exclusively breast fed (MICS 2017); Only 10% of children aged 6 – 23 months were fed appropriately; 11.7% are wasted from acute under nutrition; 47% of children under-5 years are stunted; 34% are under weight(MICs 2017).
“Some of the identified barriers to appropriate IYCF behaviors and practices in the state are connected to issues related to poor knowledge and attitudes about the benefits of appropriate timing of initiating breastfeeding, giving colostrum, misconceptions about giving water and introducing appropriate complementary feeding.
“The IYCF multi-media campaign is therefore intended to respond to these concerns through evidence based strategic communication towards changing the dire IYCF indices in the State.
“The general campaign activities took off on November 22, 2018 and will run through 2020, across the state.
“The activities of the campaign will involve media roundtable, press briefing by her Excellency, the wife of the Governor of Kaduna state and the Chairperson of Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan (KADENAP), Hajia Aisha Ummi Garba El-Rufai, IYCF orientation for journalists, radio and TV jingles, and several levels of media engagement and trainings, the statement emphasised.
“To successfully drive this initiative, it said, an effective campaign management mechanism made up of competent personnel from the PHCDA, State Ministry of Health (MOH) and partner organizations (including A&T, UNICEF, Save the Children, Wellbeing Foundation) has been put in place by the government and its stakeholders.
The state IYCF campaign management committee is led by the State PHCDA and is responsible for providing overall administrative oversight in the process. This committee will receive technical support from FHI 360 A&T and relevant civil society organization (CSO) networks.
This multimedia campaign, the statement reemphasized ,is a shared responsibility, and everyone has a part to play to ensure the success of the process.
”It is therefore expected that everyone in the state actively participates in and encourages others to participate in the activities of IYCF multimedia campaign accordingly.”