Plateau State Accounts For 44.7% Of Stunted Children in Nigeria – Commissioner
Dr. Nimkong Lar, the Plateau state Commissioner for Health, has said that Plateau accounted for 44.7 per cent of stunted children in Nigeria based on the National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) of 2018.
He said this at the launch of the Accelerating Nutrition Result in Nigeria (ANRiN) which held on Wednesday at the Jos North Local Government secretariat.
Lar, while calling on women, particularly those of child bearing ages, to utilise the materials, said government had painstakingly provided them for their use and should be properly utilised.
“This project came to the state due to the high burden of stunted children recorded in the state, following the report of a National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) of 2018.
“The report showed that Plateau state accounts for 44.7% of stunted children in the country.
“This project is part of government’s commitment to improve the health status of children under 5 years of age.
“Pregnant and lactating mothers as well as adolescent girls who are pregnant in the state.
“I, therefore, call on all women within this category to ensure that they take advantage of this opportunity provided by government and ensure that they and their children benefit from it. It is totally free,” he said.
Lar disclosed that the beneficiaries were to be given basic packages of nutrition services with the goal of ensuring that the children get the best of nutrition within the first 1,000 days of life.
The first 1000 days is from conception to the child’s second birthday stage which is critical for good brain development.
Hon. Shehu Balla, the Chairman, Jos North LGA, expressed gratitude for the flag-off of the programme in his council area, assuring the public of the support of his administration in mobilizing targeted beneficiaries at the grassroot to benefit from the programme.
Balla charged citizens of the locality to totally embrace the programme as medical practitioners move from house to house to give them the materials, “knowing fully well that health is wealth” he said.
Similarly, the Executive Secretary of the Plateau Primary Healthcare Development Board (PHCDB)Dr. Livinus Miapkwap stressed that the drugs to be distributed were free.
He called on women within the child bearing age and those with children from zero to five years, to ensure that they benefitted from the programme, and also report anyone who asked for payment.
“Whoever told you to pay any amount before receiving the drug please ensure you report such officers to us.
“The exercise will be carried out in various homes and hospitals for free”, he stressed.
The Project Manager of ANRiN in Plateau, Dr. Sani Jibrin, who was represented by Mr. Joel Lamwang said a monitoring mechanism has been put in place to ensure that the drugs meant for the project were not sold or found in the market.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the Accelerating Nutrition Result in Nigeria (ANRiN) project is being implemented by the Network for Health Equity Development (NHED)
NAN also reports that the project, partly sponsored by the World Bank (WB), is to cover seven local government areas of the State.