By Chukwudi Nwauba  

Awka, June 12, 2021 (MOI) Anambra State Ministry of Health (SMOH) in collaboration with EU/WHO under the Health System Strengthening Project held a two-day meeting with key stakeholders to address nutrition challenges in the state.  

“The essence is to enable the state to achieve Universal Health Coverage.’’  

The meeting, which was held from June 9 to June 10 in Awka, was a follow-up activity of a 3-Day field work on Nutrition Monitoring and Mentoring in the 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.  

Head of Planning, Research and Statistics Department, SMOH, Mrs Edith Nwachukwu noted that the meeting was to enable them to review field findings of the Nutrition Monitoring and Mentoring activity.  

“This is to enable us to know, where we are not getting it right in our state’s nutrition programmes and possibly proffer solutions and interventions to those findings, where there are challenges in the field.’’  

Mrs Nwachukwu commended the State Government for its support in the state health sector, while noting that there was need for more support and improvements in its Nutrition activities.  

“Our partners, the EU through the World Health Organisation (WHO) is aiding this improvement; our aim is to ensure that our data as it concerns stunning and malnutrition of children in the state are reduced.  

“There are areas, such as interior and hinterland parts of the state where we have more malnourished children; so there is need to do more to capture them and do some interventions to improve their well-being,’’ stressed Mrs Nwachukwu.  

The State Nutrition Officer (SNO), Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA), Mrs Uzoamaka Eriken noted that they had been to different facilities in the LGAs.  

“This is to enable us to find out how nutrition activities are practiced or documented and we have now gathered to discuss those findings.  

“With the knowledge and template gathered, we are here to put together everything discovered in the field, find ways to improve on it and also drop or stop the bad practices as it concerns the nutrition of Anambra children.  

“All Nutrition Focal Persons (NFPs) in the 21 LGAs are here, they were swapped in the field as they did not work or monitor in their own LGA. This was done to ensure that we get true facts from every LGA.  

“We also have some persons from the state team, who also monitored to confirm the findings that had been reported by the NFPs,’’ Mrs Eriken explained.  

She emphasised that the gathering was to address nutrition problems in the state especially on data collection, documentation and management.  

“We are beginning to address the issues to ensure that there will be a difference and that we have a better result in our core card in the future.’’  

The Nutrition Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Officer, ASPHCDA, Miss Chiamaka Anigbogu noted that data was key in every programme as without it, it would be assumed that no work was being done.  

“This activity will not only help us to know the nutrition challenges but also what we have to do next to make it better.  

“Apart from Immunisation, which is very important, every child needs good food too.  

“The health workers need to be reminded that nutrition is also important in a child’s life, so all hands have to come together to make everything work,’’ she said.   Miss Anigbogu, then, commended the Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala and the State Health Team for ensuring that nutrition activities are taken seriously in health facilities. (MOI)

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