CSOs to scale up maternal, child nutrition in Bauchi
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Bauchi State have expressed their commitment to improve the quality of child feeding and maternal nutrition practices through various interventions in the state.
Mrs Dabis Ike, Acting Executive Director at FACE-PaM, disclosed this to newsmen on Friday in Bauchi.
According to her, CSOs with the support of a Non-Governmental Organisation Alive & Thrive are working to strengthen the system in the state.
She said they wanted to ensure adequate nourishment and care for pregnant women by optimal feeding from birth to a child’s second birthday.
“Our capacity was built on strengthening systems for maternal, infant, and young child nutrition (MIYCN) in social and behaviour change, policy advocacy.
“We learned strategic use of data thoughtfully for the sustainable scale-up of policies and programs that improve MIYCN in the state,” she said.
On his part, Mr Justin Nathaniel, Project officer, with the Women Empowerment Initiative of Nigeria (WEIN), said they embarked on a project promoting positive practices in communities through outreach by community volunteers.
“By Building the capacity of health providers to use data more effectively that will lead to better monitoring of service provision.
“That will also provide improvement efforts that address key gaps in the delivery of these critical MIYCN services in the communities of the State,” he said.
Nathaniel said the project emphasises on new efforts on early new-born care and adolescent nutrition to support existing MIYCN programming in the state.
“Helping governments create new MIYCN-friendly policies, such as maternity entitlement legislation for mothers to continue breastfeeding through extended maternity leave, “he said.
Another CSO, Mr Ibifumilola Paul of the Ace -Hi in Bauchi, said they had witnessed significant improvements in the quality of child feeding and maternal nutrition practices in the state.
He called on the government and other employers of labour to implement six months maternity leave and make the workplace conducive to enable mothers practice exclusive breastfeeding for their babies.
“If there is a crèche in the place of work or attached to the place of work or a breastfeeding place at a place of work, mothers can keep their child there.
“But when the child is so far away, you don’t know what is happening, the mother’s heart would not be at rest, she would be tense.
“That is why our emphasis on breast milk in the first six months of life contains all the necessary nutrients in quantity and quality that a child requires at this stage of life,” he said.
Paul commended the Thrive and Alive Organisation for complementing the state government on improving MIYCN in six local communities of the state.