Andy Esiet, Calabar
United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Cross River State government have sensitised over 200 stakeholders on nutrition.
This advocacy and sensitisation programme was carried out at weekend in a one day town hall meeting on “Child Friendly Community Initiatives/Maternal Infant and Young Child Feeding (MIYCF) by United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Cross River State Planning Commission (SPC), State Commission on Food and Nutrition (SCFN) and Primary Healthcare Development Agency (PHCDA)” in Biase and Yala Local Government Councils of the state.
The sensitization programme which is a follow-up on the recently concluded five day workshop in Enugu by UNICEF and Enugu state government on “‘Community of Practice’ on Building Capacity to Mainstream Nutrition into the Investment Agenda” focused on nutrition, importance of breast feeding,, benefits of exclusive breast feeding to the mother and to baby, hygiene and good practices, that is open defecation, hand washing and others.
The Director State Planning Commission (SPC), Mr. Kingsley Eyibio, said, “the town hall meeting hard focal discussion on their eating habits practices .presentation of papers plus questionnaire , thought them on right practices on nutrition. We sensitised more than100 persons and this include the care givers, stakeholders, women, traditional rulers, community people, religious leaders, youths, women and in Biase we also had the focal contact of 100 persons including the health workers.
“We spoke on wide range of issues centred on nutrition like child and mother feeding, pregnancy from conception to first two years exclusive breastfeeding to check frightening effect of stunting, bad water , sanitation, wasting, poverty and under weight” .
He said “it was an interactive sessions and we engaged them on advocacy on all these issues on nutrition and the need for them to take them down to the people in the grassroots for them to become advocates and vanguard of nutrition
“It was a town hall meeting and people were drawn from all sectors of the society and it was a sensitisation programme to ensure people in the rural areas embrace nutrition and maintain healthy feeding life” .