CS-SUNN has conducted visits to the Executive Secretaries of two states’ Primary Health Care Development Agencies recently. The visits were a follow up to get updates on the level of implementation of the Basic Minimum Package for Nutrition in a functional Primary Health Care Centre (PHC) and to request for sustainability of its implementation. The states visited were Nasarawa and Niger. It was aimed at receiving updates on the funding of the basic nutrition minimum service package and charting the way forward towards effective funding and utilization of the package in the PHCs.
The Basic Minimum Nutrition Service Pack is the minimum basic nutrition commodities, services, personnel and equipment that are fundamentally required in a functional PHC. It is essential that all PHCs in Nigeria are equipped with these basic requirements for effective health and nutrition service provision. CS-SUNN had engaged with and supported the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to develop and print the document and also supported the agency in collaboration with the state governments to build the capacity of officers in charge from selected local governments in the state on nutrition with focus on the basic minimum nutrition service package.
Receiving the CS-SUNN National and State chapter advocacy team at his office in Nasarawa state, the Director Primary Health Care, Madawa Absalom commended CS-SUNN for the training and said so far, the PHCs trained have commenced implementation of the package. He urged CS-SUNN to conduct a monitoring exercise to the PHCs to see the positive changes since the training was conducted. He added that gaps, identified by CS-SUNN, will be taken up and addressed by the agency.
Responding to CS-SUNN’s inquiry on how the state agency has funded the Minimum Nutrition Package, the State Nutrition Officer, Halima Yusuf-Shitu said the procurement of essential medicines, like Vitamin A capsule, Micronutrient powder, Iron folate among others have been funded by the State government and nutrition partners in the state.
In Niger state, the Executive Director, Dr Ibrahim Dangana, who received the CS-SUNN team said Niger state is the first in Nigeria to pay in full, her counterpart funding for ANRiN project which also shows the level of priority the state places on nutrition intervention. He added that plans are underway by the state government to train staff across the state on dietetics.” We will leverage on ANRiN project and using of the basic health provision fund (sic) for setting up of nutrition corners in all the PHCs in the state”, he said.
In addition, the Director said that the state has scaled up maternal nutrition intervention from 3 to 9 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and that Community Management of Acute Malnutrition centers in the state have been increased from 5 to 15 LGAs with constant supply of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food.