Create state nutrition agencies, champions urge governors
Nutrition Champions recently trained by the Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria, CS-SUNN, has called on state governors to establish nutrition agencies that would coordinate its activities in the State.
The Nutrition Champions who made the call in Ilorin, Kwara State at a three day workshop, said the State agencies will help improve the poor attention given to nutrition in the country.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman, Steering Committee CS-SUNN, Dr. David Olayemi decried the poor attention given to nutrition in Nigeria, said, "all of us have a responsibility to ensure that we lay a solid foundation for all babies in the first 1000 days of their lives."
Olayemi said from conception to age two, there is need for children to be given the appropriate nutrition at every stage of their development as that can happen if adequate knowledge of what to give is there, hence the need for governments to establish nutrition agencies.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary, CS-SUNN, Beatrice Eluaka said "Nutrition Champions have been trained to work towards improved nutrition funding and visibility across some States in Nigeria."
Eluaka highlighted the key commitments made by the Nutrition Champions which includes; meeting with State governors for prioritization of nutrition, evidence-based presentations to State Executive Councils and media actions for improving nutrition visibility through advocacy programs for nutrition and publications across broadcast and print media.
She said 17 Champions were trained including Permanent Secretaries, market women leaders, media persons among others, adding that all states champions would develop and implement an action plan to improve nutrition status in their States and a platform would be created for interaction, experience sharing on progress made among and between the State champions.
The participants were drawn from five Partnership for Improving Nigeria Nutrition Systems (PINNS) project States: Kano, Lagos, Niger, Nasarawa and Kaduna.
It was aimed at equipping identified influencers with the requisite knowledge required to engage for improved nutrition funding and visibility across the aforementioned States.