By Asmau Ahmad
Nutrition partners in Kaduna State have trained Local Government Inspectors (LGIs) of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) on Infant
and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) to enlist their support toward ending malnutrition in the state.
The partners include the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Save the Children International, Alive and Thrive (FHI 360), Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), National Orientation Agency (NOA) and Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan.
The partners are currently pushing for the establishment of Nutrition Community Development Service (CDS) by the NYSC headquarters to promote appropriate IYCF in the country.
The Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, Mrs Chinwe Ezeife explained at the opening of the training in Kaduna that the goal was to enlighten the LGIs on nutrition situation in the state.
“As inspectors of corps members in Local Government Areas (LGAs), they need to know the existing nutrition interventions in the state and the critical role they would be expected to play if the Nutrition CDS is eventually established.
“We believe that equipping them with the needed information on nutrition and how it affects the growth and development of the child will help garner their support and ensure the success of the
“We expect that with the acquired knowledge, the LGIs will effectively monitor and supervise the corps members promoting best IYCF practices
in their respective LGAs,” Ezeife said.
She described the NYSC as a crucial partner in mainstreaming nutrition issues in the NYSC programmes to strengthen the fight against
She said the expected roles of the Nutrition CDS group would include enlightening parents, mothers, caregivers, community members and
mobilising them for optimal IYCF practices for healthy growth and development of children.
The state’s Team Leader, Alive and Thrive, Mrs Sarah Kwasu, described nutrition as the back bone of everything around child growth and. development
Kwasu said that partnership with the NYSC would help in reaching out to every community member on adequate IYCF practices.
Also, the State Coordinator, CS-SUNN Kaduna, Mr Silas Ideva, said: “We are happy that Kaduna State Government has extended maternity leave to
“This is another milestone in pressing home the need for optimal IYCF practices for the good development of children to live quality lives
and contribute to national development.”
Malam Isa Ibrahim, Nutrition Advocacy Adviser, Save the Children International, also said that the NYSC would play critical role in improving the nutrition status of children through massive
sensitisation and enlightenment campaign.
“NYSC has done much in improving other health problems in the country, particularly HIV; they can do even more in mobilising community
members, parents, mothers and caregivers for good nutrition practices,” Ibrahim said.
On his part, the state’s Nutrition Officer, Hajiya Hauwa Usman, who enlightened the LGIs on the state of nutrition in the state and the importance of appropriate IYCF, thanked the NYSC for joining the support.
She commended nutrition partners and all stakeholders supporting the state in the fight against malnutrition, adding that partnering with
the NYSC will go a long way in winning the fight.
Earlier, the NYSC Coordinator in the state, Mrs Walida Isa, thanked the nutrition partners for utilising NYSC resources to improve nutritionals of children and women in the country.
“We are happy to contribute by making our corps members available for the promotion of adequate infant and young child feeding practices in
Kaduna state and the country at large,” she said.