By Jonathan Ugbal
The Director General of the Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency (CRSPHCDA) Dr. Betta Edu says there is an urgent need to step up the fight against malnutrition because it affects the overall health of both the individual, the immediate community and the country at large.
Edu made this known Tuesday in Calabar during the close out ceremony of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Local Partners for Orphans and vulnerable Children (LOPIN 3) Strengthening Partnerships, Results and Innovators in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) program close out ceremony, where she also pointed out the need for partners to synergize with the relevant government structures in the state to step up performance indices and achieve bigger objectives.
“If we eat right, we will live right. If we eat right, the visits to the hospitals will reduce. If we eat right the financial burden of visiting the hospital will not be there” said Dr. Edu.
Earlier, she said that: “I am sure when we talked about Malnutrition before now, we thought it was something far from us like in the North East that has been torn by insurgency but that is not the case. We recently went for immunization in Bakassi and we saw a woman when she alighted from a bike with her child and as soon as we spotted the child, we knew the child was malnourished.
“Therefore, those in charge of getting information out need to up their performance as the sensitization of the community is key and very vital” Dr. Edu said and regretted a situation where some developing partners collect funds for activities in the state and nothing is being done to justify the funds collected which she lauded the USAID for “Being there for Cross River State in deed.”
Disclosing that the state government is committed to taking off from where SPRING stopped, Edu added that: “We have to step up our commitment, visibility and the way we collaborate with government structures.
“We need to integrate, we need to synergize and work together as one strong force, that is the only way we can meet our set targets.”
Earlier, the Gender and HIV Prevention Advisor of Health Initiatives for Safety and Stability in Africa (HIFASS) Mary Umoh who represented the Chief of Party stressed that fighting malnutrition needs a multi sectorial approach.
She pointed out some of the successes of the SPRING program to include the training of Caregivers, improvement of Nutrition status in orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) in the target local government areas, training of Civil Society and non governmental organizations in using MUAC to check the nutrition level of OVC’s as well as the conduct of food demo trainings in focus local government areas.
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