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Zamfara NGOs vows to scale up advocacy on nutrition

Rising from a two day training workshop, twenty CSOs and Coalition leaders promised to scale up advocacy on nutrition and other health issues. They also promised to have one voice on nutrition intervention programs in Zamfara state for the purpose of reducing the incident of malnutrition in the state.

Participants that attended the workshop include the State Nutrition Officer, Alh Samaila Bakwai who represented the Executive Secretary, Zamfara Primary Health Care Board as well as Civil Society members from MNCH Coalition, CSOs Nutrition Platform and Zamfara Coalition of NGOs.

A number of important presentations on nutrition, advocacy and other health matter were presented by Mr. Isaac Dare and Mr. Kunle Ishola from CS-SUNN, Abuja. After several sessions, group works and deliberations, the organisations we unanimously resolved on the following:

  1. The Zamfara state government is commended for establishing a budget line for nutrition and also appropriating the sum of N116.5million for nutrition in the 2017 budget.
  2. The state government should take nutrition as a priority in order to reduce incident of malnutrition in the state.
  3. The Local Government Authority are also commended for allocation of a budget of seven million naira (N7,000,000.00) to nutritional activities at the LGA Levels
  4. The participant also commended the government for the implementing school feeding programs in the state which will also help improve nutrition.
  5. The state government should ensure the timely release of nutrition funds for effective and efficient nutrition intervention programs in the state
  6. The Zamfara State House of Assembly should consolidate on its’ initial openness in the budget process by pushing for the domestication of the procurement law in the state and ensure that the state annual budget is always specific, measureable, achievable, realistic and time bound before passage.
  7. The state government should domesticate the State Food and Nutrition Policy and other national policies that are yet to be domesticated
  8. All stakeholder should ensure accountability and transparency in programs implementation aiming at achieving the desire goals
  9. A strategic plan should be fashioned out that will enable the state meet up and fill in the wide human personnel gaps in the health sector within a specified time frame through training and retraining. Specifically, the adoption of the Human Resource Policy for Health was identified as a vital step that should be taken as soon as possible by the state government
  10. A general attitudinal change by all is required as a key factor for attaining good program implementation, to this end, civil society organisations were urged to be more proactive in carrying out advocacies
  11. The state government should ensure a rapid implementation of the Saving One Million lives programme aiming at reducing maternal death and child mortality
  12. Government and civil society organisations committed to work closely and intensify community mobilization and enlightenment campaigns on nutrition and other health issues.
  13. Finally a coalition was formed and leaders to pilot the affairs organisation were elected: they are Ibrahim Tudu, of Global Network for Islamic Justice as State Coadinator and Musa Aboki as the secretary. Other positions nominated include Fin Sec and PRO 1 and 11

The training workshop was organised by a partner organisation the Civil Society Scaling- Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) which is a non-governmental, non-profit making coalition, made up of organisations with a share vision to transform Nigeria into a country where every citizen has food and nutrition security.

In conclusion , the coalition appealed to the state government for timely release of 2017 nutrition funds as budgeted. They also hoped for an upward review of nutrition budget in the year 2018. They equally wish to thank our development partners for their support not only to nutrition but to the health sector in zamfara state. Finally they called on the CSOs to be more united and more accountable in their activities.

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