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67,500 pregnant women to enjoy free maternal health drugs in Kaduna

The Kaduna State Government says it will provide supplements to 67, 500 pregnant women in the state, to boost their nutrition, immune system andmaternal health.

The Executive Secretary of the State’s Primary Healthcare Development Board, Dr Hamza Abubakar, disclosed this on Wednesday when the Civil Society Scaling up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), a Non-governmental Organisation, paid him an advocacy visit in Kaduna.

Abubakar who was represented by Dr Neyu Iliyasu, said that the intervention would also save the lives of the unborn children.

According to him, the pregnant women will be given iron and folic acid, as well as Sulphadoxine Paramitamin to prevent malaria.

“The iron, folic acid and SP will also prevent anaemia among the pregnant women,’’ Abubakar said.

He assured that supplementing the targeted 67,500 pregnant women within 2021 would be achieved considering the number of facilities in the state.

On malnutrition, the secretary noted that it has lingered in the state due to many reasons, but assured that the government has the political will to address the situation.

According to him, the intervention for nutrition has been scaled up in Kaduna State, with the government releasing N1 million monthly to all local governments to support nutrition interventions.

Abubakar also said that nine facilities in each local government were utilising the minimum packages for nutrition services.

“We usually have an annual operational plan which we can’t disclose now, but the plan is also to scale up nutrition, we usually do the planning with Civil Society Organisations.

“We thank the media for availing us the opportunity to be updated based on the new priorities coming up in the state.

“It is an opportunity for us, if we don’t meet the target we want in terms of capacity building, then it will be chipped into the annual operational plan.

“The annual operational plan is not just a document for the state, but for partners and CSOs to use and understand where the state is heading’’, Abubakar said.

He thanked the group for its advocacy and assured that the board was committed to improving the nutrition status of women and children.

“We have enjoyed a lot of support from various partners especially CS-SUNN that has been in the forefront in ensuring that nutrition is supported in Kaduna state’’, he said.

Earlier, the project officer of CS-SUNN, Mary Makanjuola, said that the objective of the advocacy visit was to follow up on basic minimum packages of nutrition in the state.

“We want to know the gaps, lapses, and challenges of the minimum package of nutrition in the state’’, she said.

Also, the CS-SUNN Advocacy Chairman in Kaduna State, Mr Steven Odawn, commended the board for the progress so far recorded in addressing the scourge of malnutrition.

He urged it to continue to increase interventions and reach out to more malnourished children with treatment and preventive services across the state. (NAN)

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