CS-SUNN URGES OYO GOVERNMENT TO IMPLEMENT STATE STRATEGIC PLAN OF ACTION FOR NUTRITION
The Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria, (CS-SUNN) has called on the Oyo state Government to scale up nutrition specific and sensitive interventions in the State, by fully implementing the Oyo state strategic plan of action for Nutrition and creating specific nutrition budget lines across all nutrition line Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state.
CS-SUNN, at a Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Pooled Fund Dissemination meeting of Advocacy Brief held recently in Oyo state, emphasized that improved investments in nutrition and releases of funds for nutrition specific and sensitive interventions by the state government, is key to reversing the above negative nutritional status. According to the National Demographic and Health Survey (2018), 34.5 percent of under-five children in the state are stunted, 3.8 percent are wasted with 19.1 percent being underweight. The coalition further revealed that with improved nutrition investments in the state, proportion of persons who suffer from hunger will be reduced by 50%, Exclusive Breastfeeding rate will be increased by 50%, stunting among children under five will be reduced by 50% and Vitamin A Supplementation will be increased by 50%, come 2025.
CS-SUNN, acknowledged the commitments of the Oyo State government towards advancing nutrition in the state – the existence of a functional state committee on food and nutrition (SCFN) and the creation of a separate nutrition budget line in some MDAs among others but stressed the need for more to be done to improve nutrition outcomes for the state – the extension of paid maternity leave to 24 weeks from its current 16 weeks to enable mothers exclusively breastfeed their children and a more effective SCFN in coordinating nutrition interventions in the state if adopted, are steps in the right direction towards advancing nutrition in Oyo state.
Figure : Project Officer engaging participants at the meeting
The State Nutrition Officer, Oladeji Omolara Atinuke had stated at CS-SUNN’s Pooled Fund Dissemination meeting that all hands must be on deck to address the scourge of malnutrition and pledged her continuous support to improve nutrition in Oyo state. In her words “Nutrition is everybody’s responsibility and not just government alone”. CS-SUNN is optimistic that the state ministry of women affairs and social inclusion will continue to support the cause of nutrition in the state especially in the area of advocacies to the Wife of the State Governor, Her Excellency Tamunominini Oluwayesi Makinde to advance nutrition for the benefit of women of childbearing age and children under-five.
Figure : Oyo State Nutrition Officer making a presentation
The CS-SUNN Oyo state chapter, under the leadership of Mr Adio Olusegun as Coordinator promised continuous amplification of issues of nutrition in the state. The one-day meeting which drew participants from the State Coalition, Media and government functionaries was aimed at disseminating key findings on trend analysis on nutrition intervention in Oyo state, identifying nutrition issues and presenting CS-SUNN ‘asks’ to policy makers. It is expected that policy brief guides advocacy activities aimed at advancing nutrition in the state.
In a related development, Representative of the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Adediran Ademola at the end of a one-day CS-SUNN SUN Pooled Fund Project Stakeholders Meeting on Improving Nutrition and Way Forward in the state revealed that the menace caused by malnutrition has become a global burden. He said every ten seconds, a child dies in Nigeria.
The State Nutrition Officer, Mrs. Oladeji Atinuke disclosed that the state is yet to hold any of the two biannual Maternal and Newborn Child Health Weeks (MNCHW) and did not participate in the 2019 World Breastfeeding Week due to lack of funding. CS-SUNN therefore tasked the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bello B.V.A to step up interventions around EBF, complementary feeding and to adopt Strategic Behavioral Change Communication approaches that will deter cultural norms that negatively impact the adequate IYCF practices in the state.