Osun Develops Five-Year Costed Multi-Sectoral Strategic Plan Of Action For Nutrition
The Osun State Government has developed a five-year costed multi-sectoral strategic plan of action for nutrition as part of strategies to address the challenge of malnutrition in the state.
Speaking at a three-day workshop on the state strategic plan on nutrition sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Director of Community Health Services and Education at the Osun State Primary Health Care Development Board, James Oloyede, said there is the urgent need to address the problem of malnutrition in the state.
Oloyede said the nutritional status of children below the age of five in Osun State has not improved in the last five years, according to the report of Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey 2016-2017.
He said over 23 per cent of under-5 children in the state are stunted and 8 per cent wasted, which means that those children may not fulfil their full potentials in life and they are at a greater risk of diet-related, non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, obesity and hypertension in later years.
He said: “The report also showed that more children are likely to die today than they were five years ago as infant mortality rose above the national average of 70/1000 from 40/1000 live births in 2011 to 78/1000 in 2016 and Under-5 mortality rose from 58/1000 to 101/1000 in the same period.”
Oloyede said the state government was committed to reversing this ugly trend through an integrated multi-sectoral strategic plan of action that will clearly identify priority areas such as nutrition of women of child bearing age, infant and young child feeding.
Other priority areas include ensuring food security, micro nutrient deficiency control, treatment of severe acute malnutrition, nutrition in education and institutions, poverty reduction and recruitment and deployment of nutritionists to handle nutrition issues in the State.
He said the state’s strategic plan on nutrition clearly outlined activities and assign roles and responsibilities that would ensure its implementation.
Oloyede expressed delight that efforts at improving the practice of breastfeeding have yielded positive result in the state as the rate of Exclusive Breastfeeding increased by 35.8 per cent from 40.7 per cent to 55.3 per cent in 2016.
A Public Health and Nutrition Programme Manager in the Osun State Primary Health Care Development Board, Izuchukwu Michael Offiaeli, while taking participants through the objectives and the expected outcomes of the workshop, explained that an integrated strategic costed nutrition plan of action was being developed for the state for the period between 2018 and 2023.
At the workshop attended by top officials of ministries and agencies of Osun State Government, Michael explained that the document would also detail the commitments in financial investments going into nutrition and the roles as well as the responsibilities of all the relevant sectors and stakeholders.
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