Plan International, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in partnership with Nutrition International is to provide Micronutrient Powders (MNPs) to over 60,000 children to improve their nutritional wellbeing.

The Head, Social Development Programme, Plan International, Mr Laban Onisimus, in Abuja on Thursday, said the programme, which was with support from Canada was an intervention that would last for nine months.

Onisimus said that the programme would within children within the age group of six and 23 months.

The programmes tagged ” Community Component Project Launch of Enhancing Infant and Young Children Nutrition through Home Food Fortification” is cascaded in Gwagwalada and the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) of the territory.

“We are making commitment to make sure that the objectives of the intervention come to pass.

“We solicit for support from all stakeholders to achieve this and we are committed towards ensuring that we carry everyone along in the implementation of the project,” he said.

The Minister of State for FCT, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, called on the need to pay adequate attention to the nutrition of young children.

Aliyu, who was represented by the Special Assistant on Primary Healthcare, Mr Mohammed Ibrahim, said that a good nutrition would help children learn better in school.

She called on stakeholders to give necessary support to Plan International, so as to reach out to caregivers who could not provide adequate nutrition to their children.

Similarly, Mrs Titilola Abolade, Programme Director, Nutrition International, said the National Demographic and Health Survey 2018 puts Nigeria under five mortality rate at 132/1,000 live births.

Abolade said that the survey also reported 37 per cent of children under five as stunted, 22 per cent as underweight and seven per cent wasted as almost 68 per cent of children under five anaemic.

“At Nutrition International, we believe Malnutrition is not just a chronic problem, it is an urgent problem. Millions of lives and voices are missing from our global economy and collective story when they don’t have to be.

” So, every day, we look for better, faster ways to deliver the nutrition interventions we know work to those who need them most by working as an expert ally to government and partners.

“Nigeria has poor health and nutrition indices which has been further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on livelihood of the general population especially those in rural areas and urban slums (informal settlements),” she said.
She commended the Federal Government on the recent roll out MNP programme in select states of the country saying that this showed commitment to reducing malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency in the country.

Also, Mrs Deborah Bennett, Senior Programme Officer, Nutrition International, said that the target of the project was to reach 55,000 children from six to 23 months in AMAC and 4,200 in Gwagwalada.

Bennett said that often times, in the preparation of foods; some nutrients were lost which necessitated the provision of MNPs to be given to children within that age group.

She said this would help them to grow well and as well develop their mental wellness as they grow.

She, therefore, hoped that the project would reach and contribute to improving the nutrition and micronutrient status of the children. (NAN)

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