Plan International Nigeria, a non-governmental organization (NGO), said as many as 60,000 children in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and surrounding areas would benefit from its home-based nutritional fortification project..
Plan International’s Social Development Program Manager, Mr. Laban Onisimus said this on Thursday in Abuja at the launch of the community component of the project “Improving Infant and Young Child Nutrition in Nigeria through Home Fortification. “.
The project, in partnership with Nutrition International, the Canadian government and other partners, aims to provide micronutrient powders (MNPs) to more than 60,000 children to improve their nutritional well-being.
He said the program, which would last nine months, targets children between six and 23 months.
The program is also being cascaded to Gwagwalada and the Abuja City Council (AMAC) of the FCT.
“We are committed to ensuring that the objectives of the intervention are achieved. We seek the support of all stakeholders to achieve this and we are committed to ensuring that we support everyone in the implementation of the project,” said Onisimus.
On her part, the Minister of State for FCT, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, represented by the Special Assistant on Primary Health Care in the Territory, Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim, stressed the need for adequate attention to nutrition young children.
She said good nutrition would help children learn better in school.
Furthermore, Nutrition International Program Director, Ms. Titilola Abolade, said the 2018 National Demographic and Health Survey places Nigeria under five mortality rates at 132/1,000 live births.
According to her, the survey also revealed that 37% of children under five were stunted, 22% underweight and 7% wasted, while nearly 68% of children under five were anemic.
“At Nutrition International, we believe that malnutrition is not just a chronic problem, it is an urgent problem. Millions of lives and voices are missing from our global economy and our collective history when they need not be.
“So every day we look for better and faster ways to deliver the nutrition interventions we know work to those who need them most by working as an expert ally of government and partners. Nigeria has poor health and nutrition indices which have been further aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the livelihoods of the general population, especially those in rural areas and urban slums (informal settlements) “said Abolade.
For her part, Senior Program Officer, Nutrition International, Ms. Deborah Bennett, said the project’s target was to reach 55,000 children aged six to 23 months in AMAC and 4,200 in Gwagwalada.
Plan International Nigeria Country Director, Mr. Usie Charles Emmamuzou, represented by Director of Programs and Innovation, Jummai Lawan Musa, said the project in collaboration with the Primary Health Care Council aims to engage with stakeholders at different levels, share information for an understanding of project deliverables; the scope, implementation processes and roles of all stakeholders to ensure its success.