Participants at the just concluded 3-day training of Nutrition Champions to work towards improved nutrition funding and visibility in some states in Nigeria at the end of that training called on state governments to establish nutrition agencies in their respective states.
The nutrition stakeholders in a communique signed by Executive Secretary Civil Society-Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), Beatrice Eluaka, at the end of the training recommended that state governments should consider establishing state nutrition agencies to coordinate nutrition activities in their various states.
The training, which was organised by CS-SUNN, was aimed at equipping identified influencers with the requisite knowledge required to engage for improved nutrition funding and visibility across the aforementioned states.
The 3-day workshop was held in Ilorin, Kwara state with participants drawn from five Partnership for Improving Nigeria Nutrition Systems (PINNS) project states- Kano, Lagos, Niger, Nasarawa and Kaduna.
The workshop further resolved that; ‘all states’ champions would develop and implement an action plan to improve nutrition status in their states. A platform would be created for interaction, experience sharing on progress made among and between the state champions.
“More nutrition champions would be identified and mobilized in the individual states with the opportunity for regular training to build their capacity and skills to address the nutrition challenges in the states.”
Earlier in a welcome address, CS-SUNN’s Steering Committee Chairman, Dr. David Olayemi decried the poor attention given to nutrition in the country.
“All of us have a responsibility to ensure that we lay a solid foundation for all babies in the first 1,000 days of their lives from conception to age 2 – giving them appropriate Nutrition at every stage of their development. That can only happen if we have the knowledge of what to give,” he said.
Key commitments made by the Nutrition Champions include but not limited to meeting with state governors for prioritization of nutrition, evidence-based presentations to state executive councils and media actions for improving nutrition visibility through advocacy programs for nutrition and publications across broadcast and print media.
17 Nutrition Champions were trained including permanent secretaries, market women leaders, media practitioners among others.