Wife of the Nasarawa State Governor, Silifat Abdullahi Sule, has advocated for adequate nutrition for pregnant women and nursing mothers in the state. She made the call while giving a keynote address at a one-day, high-level advocacy and policy dialogue on the nutrition situation in Nasarawa State organized by the Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) and other nutrition partners in the state. The State Governor’s Wife said she was particularly concerned about pregnant women and nursing mothers because their babies depend on them to survive hence the need for the group (Pregnant women) to put in adequate nutrition at all times.

Represented by Hajiya Zainab Aliyu-Ubandoma, Wife of the Secretary to Nasarawa State Government, the Governor’s wife advised pregnant women and nursing mothers to consume adequate diets to ensure optimal nutrition for them and their unborn babies. According to Silifat, a healthy nation would be attained with proper feeding of its citizens and the best time to build a healthy society is from pregnancy, hence the call for pregnant women and nursing mothers to prioritize adequate nutrition for the sake of themselves, their babies and the society.

She commended CS-SUNN and other stakeholders’ effort in inculcating the culture of adequate nutrition among the residents of the state and expressed support for the Nasarawa State Multisectoral Plan of Action for Nutrition (NSMSPAN) which she said would address the problem of malnutrition in the state.

Earlier, CS-SUNN Executive Secretary, Beatrice Eluaka, advocated for the full implementation of the NSMSPAN in the state. Eluaka said beautiful policies and documents in the past were developed without implementation, calling on policy makers to expedite action to ensure full implementation of NSMSPAN. She reiterated CS -SUNN’s readiness to champion the course of nutrition in the state

“What we are trying to do is to make sure that this document that was developed specifically for Nasarawa State receives approval of policy makers, especially the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State. “We are committed to ensuring that this policy is implemented, each one of us has a responsibility to ensure that it is implemented,” she said.

Mrs Mercy Asso, Nasarawa State Coordinator CS -SUNN, explained that the policy which evolved from strategies outlined in the state policy on food and nutrition would serve as working tool for Local Government Councils (LGCs). Mrs. Asso, called for improved funding for nutrition in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in line with costed state strategic plan of action for nutrition adding that release of allocated funds was key to reducing and eliminating malnutrition in the state.

Key outputs from the dialogue were suggestions to intensify awareness on exclusive breast feeding and to conduct advocacy visit to LGC chairmen to activate committees on food and nutrition in their various councils. Other requests are the push for trained nutritionists to serve as nutrition desk officers at all levels, empowerment of rural women to concentrate on exclusive breast feeding and seeking executive council to launch policy document on nutrition in the state.