By Haruna Gimba
Gubernatorial candidates for the forthcoming 2019 election in Sokoto State have pledged improved budgetary allocations and adoption of special preventive policies to tackle malnutrition if elected.
The candidates made the pledge on Saturday at Governorship candidates’ debate organised by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) in collaboration with Civil Society Organisations and the Media in state.
The governorship candidate of the National Conscience Party (NCP), Alhaji Abba Sidi, said that he would devote 16 per cent of the Internal Generated Revenues to enhance nutrition of children especially in rural areas.
He added that he would constitute state and local government committees on malnutrition and for pregnant women health in recognition of its importance to human living.
The All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate, Alhaji Ahmad Aliyu, represented by Alhaji Aminu Gidado, said issues concerning health was paramount and the party has laudable arrangements designed to ensure proper implementation.
He explained that improving residents’ standard of living would be one of its key priorities, adding that party’s candidate would fully implement the health policies that comprised nutrition.
The Deputy Governorship candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Alhaji Sani Suleiman, said they have a complete blue print on his proposed government work plans and activities.
He explained that based on the work plans, a world class health delivery would be ensured including proper tackling of malnutrition while an agency of higher departments from existing units would be established.
Malam Mahdi Shehu of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) promised to establish department of nutrition at local government level as well as to conduct census on malnutrition across the state for intervention.
In his address, Mr Solomon Dogo, from International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH), said over the years, there has been growing concern about the danger of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).
This he said has posed a big challenge to the health of children and its negative effects on the nation’s future.
Mr Dogo said the efforts were made to facilitate more commitment and political will for the prevention and management of SAM as well as
allocation release of percentage on it.
According to him, ISMPH is partnering with the Advocacy Campaign Group to demand accountability from relevant key actors in addressing SAM in Nigeria.
He however said that after securing leadership mandates those elected would be reminded on their respective commitments.