Over 1m women, children get nutrition, reproductive services from eHealth Africa

No fewer than one million pregnant and lactating women, children, and adolescent girls in Kaduna State have received nutrition and reproductive health services from eHealth Africa.

The Project Director, eHealth Africa-Accelerating Nutrition Result in Nigeria (ANRiN) Project, Dr. Aminu Abubakar, disclosed this in Kaduna at a town hall meeting with community stakeholders to review progress.

He said the services were provided under the World Bank supported ANRiN project, between May 2021 and May 2022, surpassing the first one year target.

Abubakar said the project, through a mix of counseling and service delivery, aimed to increase utilisation of quality and cost-effective nutrition services for pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls, and children under five years.

According to him, eHealth Africa is delivering an integrated community-based Basic Package of Nutrition Services (BPNS) and Adolescent Health Services (AHS) in 12 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.

Abubakar identified the LGAs as Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Chikun, Kajuru, Kagarko, Kachia, Kaura, Jaba, Zangon Kataf, Jema’a, Sanga, and Ikara.

He said that out of the more than one million beneficiaries, 237,432 children, 12 to 59 months, were provided with deworming services, 224,633 children, 6 to 59 months, reached with Vitamin A supplement.

Abubakar said 91,669 children, 6 to 23 months, were reached with micronutrient powder, while 88,808 children, 6 to 59 months, were reached with Zinc/ORS services.

He said 2,490 adolescent married women were reached with long-acting reversible contraceptives and 23,857 others with short-acting reversible contraceptives.

The project director further said that 120,000 pregnant women were reached with iron folic acid, 50,979 pregnant women reached with malaria drugs and 178,606 others reached with maternal, infant, and young child nutrition counseling services.

According to him, the goal of the town hall meeting is to bring beneficiaries and key stakeholders to review progress, challenges and lessons learned.

“The meeting also provides an avenue for dialogue to deepen collaboration with stakeholders and generate feedback from beneficiaries to inform future planning,” he said.

ANRiN Project Coordinator in the state, Dr Zainab Muhammad-Idris, said that eHealth Africa and Society for Family Health (SFH) were contracted in 2021 to provide Basic Package of Nutrition Services (BPNS) and Adolescent Health Services (AHS).

Muhammad-Idris said that the services were being provided at community levels to increase the utilisation of quality, cost-effective nutrition services for pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls, and children less than five years.

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.

“I am happy to say that eHealth has been able to exceed its set target for the first year of the project in terms of the number of beneficiaries it was expected to reach.

“Also, our monitoring visit to some of the communities confirmed the quality of services eHealth Africa is providing across the 12 LGAs. This is quite commendable,” she said.

Chairman, Kaduna South Local Government, Mr Kabiru Jari, thanked ANRiN project for providing the crucial nutrition services for women and children.

Jari, who was represented by Mr Nehemiah Karik, the vice chairman, pledged to support nutrition activities with the release of one million Naira every month for nutrition intervention in the LGA.

One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Hadiza Harisu, of Agbakpa Kaduna North LGA, said that she benefitted from family planning services, iron folate acid and micronutrient powder for her twin children.

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