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  • Writer's pictureBy Reporter

Abia govt begins nutrition campaign to tackle malnutrition, improve health

July 9, 2020

Malnutrition and Vitamin A deficiency are common conditions in Africa and Southeast Asia which increases the risk of serious and sometimes fatal infections, especially in children.

To tackle this menace, the Abia State government on Wednesday, launched an accelerated nutrition campaign as part of the State Government’s effort to improve the health, nutrition and well being of the people.

Abia State Commissioner for health, Dr Joe Osuji during the event in Umuahia, the state capital said that the campaign aims to address issues that posed serious threat to public health with emphasis on Vitamin A deficiency and malnutrition.

“Vitamin A deficiency increases children vulnerability to infections, while malnutrition remains a leading underlying cause of child mortality.

” The state government is desirous to improve the well being of its citizenry as the campaign has been integrated into the routine primary healthcare services.

“Studies reveal that Vitamin A supplementation coverage in Abia remains at 28 per cent since 2018, which is an indication that there is an immunity gap.

“With the recent shutdown of economic activities as part of measures to curtail spread of COVID-19, there could be an upsurge in malnutrition leading to higher child mortality now and post COVID-19,” Osuji said.

Osuji said that the state government had provided adequate support toward hosting of mini campaigns from July 8 to July 29 to meet the health needs of targeted groups, especially children.

Also at the event, Chief Eze Egbulefu, Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Health, described the campaign as a welcome development towards improving health system in Abia.

Egbulefu urged health workers to consider the campaign a call to duty as well as an opportunity to advance the health programmes and policies of the state government.

Dr Eugene Uhuaba, the state Project Manager of Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria

(ANRIN), said that the campaign was aimed at mothers, children and adolescents.

Uhuaba said that the purpose of evolving the programme was to reduce the burden of malnutrition to the barest minimum.

“ANRIN is a federal government initiative and a World Bank-assisted project for rapid improvement in the health of the people.

“Our target is to make sure that before the year runs out health workers will visit all the communities in Abia to distribute Antimalarial drugs and Albendazole as well as administer Vitamin A supplementation to children.

“We have started implementation of the project at the primary healthcare levels in Isiala Ngwa South, Bende and Obingwa local government councils.

“The government means well and the project is for our good. So I encourage you to accept it and take advantage of the project,” Uhuaba said.

He said that Abia was among the 12 states that would be implementing the project in Nigeria and called on stakeholders to work together to make the project a success.

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