Kaduna (Nigeria) – Participants at a 2- Day workshop on the fight against malnutrition have stressed the need for the media to develop passion and set agenda for government to take necessary action against the scourge.
To this end, a group known as Journalists Against Malnutrition, JAM has been formed to support government in that direction.
In a communique issued at the end of the workshop in Zaria, Kaduna state northwest of the country also wants Nigerians to be encouraged in good practices of sanitation and hygiene to reduce illnesses and promote nutritional status.
While supporting exclusive breast feeding as the best for infants of 0 –2 year , the participants suggest that organizations in both public and private sectors be encouraged to provide crèches to working nursing mothers
In their places of work.
Establishing back yard and school gardens as well as promoting consumption of locally grown foods in order to have access to fresh and natural foods , were also advocated.
Below is the full text of the communique:-
A COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A 2 DAY SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP FOR MEMBERS OF THE KADUNA STATE COUNCIL OF THE NIGERIA UNION OF JOURNALISTS (NUJ) ON THE FIGHT AGAINST MALNUTRITION HELD IN SLEEPRITE HOTEL, ZARIA, KADUNA STATE FROM 2ND – 3RD FEB., 2018.
The workshop was organised by the Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan (KADENAP) established in January 2017, by the Kaduna State government to holistically fight malnutrition scourge in the state in three phases.
The workshop brought together Journalists, Researchers, the Academia and Nutritionists from relevant Agencies including Development Partners.
The first phase is to urgently treat severely malnourished children who are dying under the age of five, and then those above that age and their mothers who also suffer from malnutrition are on phases two; while the third phase is to bring about attitudinal change to the daily living practice of the people to achieve positive result and sustainability.
Apart from Brainstorming the workshop featured Field visit to a Primary Health Care Centre at Kugu, Zaria Local Government Area, this is one of the centres treating severely malnourished children.
Consequence upon this, the following Resolutions were arrived at by the participants.
The involvement of Traditional and Religious Leaders as well as Leaders of thoughts as Ambassadors in the Campaign against Malnutrition.
Training of Care-givers on the four components of CYICF and complimentary foods.
Participants resolved that Exclusive Breastfeeding remains the best for infants of 0-2yrs and as such organisations in both the Public and Private sectors are encouraged to provide crèches for working nursing mothers in their places of work.
Want the media to develop passion and set agenda for government to take the required action that would address the scourge.
The participants agreed on the formation of a group known as Journalists Against Malnutrition (JAM) to support government in the fight against malnutrition.
To achieve any significant impact, the participants agreed that behavioural change in communication in terms of consumption of locally grown foods and appropriate ways of cooking should be promoted.
It was also agreed that citizens should be encouraged to establish backyard and school gardens in order to have access to fresh and natural foods.
Call on the State Government to publish the revised and adopted National Policy on Food and Nutrition in Kaduna state and to improve the nutritional status of the people with particular emphasis on the most vulnerable group such as children, women and elderly.
Nigerians should be encouraged on good practices of sanitation and hygiene to reduce illness and promote nutritional status of children.
Government urged to promote good indigenous food cultures and dietary habits of Nigerians for healthy living and development.
Participants commended the Kaduna State Government for domestication of the State Policy on Food and Nutrition as well as the strategic plan of action on nutrition.