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Nutrition: ANRiN project targets 2.5m people for reproductive services in Kaduna – World Bank

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

No fewer than 2.5 million people will be provided with Basic Package of Nutrition Services (BPNS) and Adolescent Health Services (AHS) at community levels in Kaduna State.

The services will be provided under the World Bank-supported Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria (ANRiN) project, the Project Coordinator, Dr Zainab Muhammad-Idris, disclosed this in Kaduna on Tuesday.

Muhammad-Idris made the disclosure at the end of the quarterly stakeholders’ meeting on ANRiN project when she said that the services would be provided by two Non-State Actors (NSA) – eHealth Africa and Society for Family Health (SFH).

She explained that ANRiN, which is a five-year World Bank-supported project, is designed to increase utilization of quality, cost-effective nutrition services for pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls and children under five years of age.

According to her, the objective is to reduce chronic malnutrition, maternal and child mortality rates and, in the long run, increase school completion, performance and improve labour force productivity.

She said that the two NSAs were contracted in 2021 to deliver the BPNS and AHS to the target groups at community level, adding that so far, the project has reached 895,724 (in 2021).

“Considering the outstanding performance of the two NSAs in 2021, I am confident that they will meet their targets, which are expected to commence by June.

“We are happy with their performance so far. What we desire to see is for them to sustain the efforts and do better,” she said.

In his contributory note, Project Director of eHealth Africa ANRiN Project, Dr Aminu Abubakar, said that eHealth would reach 556,749 beneficiaries in 12 local government areas between June 2022 and June 2023.

Abubakar revealed that the providers were being sourced from communities where services were provided to strengthen acceptability and community ownership.

He said that to meet the target, more service providers would be employed, including persons with disabilities, to ensure gender equity and social inclusion.

“We have employed two visually inspired persons, who are providing services in their communities, and they are doing very well.

“We plan to recruit 24 more, two each from our 12 local government coverage areas,” the project director said.

He said that out of the 556,749 target, 104,187 pregnant and lactating women would be counselled on maternal, infant and young child nutrition, and provided deworming tablets to 138,502 children of 12 to 59 months.

He added that 131,036 children, from six to 59 months old, would be provided with Vitamin A supplementation, while 51,805 children would be provided with Zinc/ORS for diarrhea.

The project director also said that micronutrient powder would be provided to 53,473 children of six to 23 months with counselling and IFA supplement tablets and with counselling to 32,640 pregnant women.

“Malaria drugs will also be provided to 29,737 pregnant women and modern contraceptive services with counselling to 15,369 women and adolescent girls,” Abubakar said.

Also, Mr Ibrahim Mohammed, who is Project Director of SFH ANRiN Project, said that SFH had a target of providing services to 1.92 million beneficiaries in 13 local government areas.

Mohammed said that of the 1.92 million targets, 360,784 pregnant and lactating women would be counselled on maternal, infant and young child nutrition, while deworming tablets would be provided to 481,755 children.

He said that 455,786 children would receive Vitamin A supplementation and 180,194 children would receive Zinc/ORS for diarrhea, while their mothers counselled.

“Also, 185,839 will be provided with micronutrient powder (for children of) six to 23 months, with counselling, while 113,024 pregnant women will receive IFA supplement tablets with counselling.

“Malaria drugs will also be provided to 102,978 pregnant women, while contraceptive services will be provided to 39,548 women and adolescents,” he said. The project director said that to be able to reach the target, SFH would introduce more incentives to its field workers recruited from the committee and increase the quality of services.

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