ADP, UNICEF review infant feeding practices
By Kehinde Oluwatayo
In its bid to ensure children in Ondo State get adequate nutrition and attain their full potential, Agricultural Development Project (ADP) in collaboration with UNICEF has organised a meeting to review counseling on infant and child feeding practices in the state.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after the opening of the programme, Nutrition Specialist of UNICEF in Akure, Mrs Ada Ezeogu noted that her organisation is interested in nutrition of women and children for proper development.
According to her, Unicef is particular about the first one thousand days of the child from pregnancy until the child is two years adding that that is when nutrition has the greatest impact on their physical and brain development.
“We realised that agricultural extension workers cover a lot of rural communities, they are already interacting with women and since we already have them as work force , we thought it will benefit the state if we collaborate.
“These women will preach exclusive breastfeeding in the communities and adequate and timely complementary feeding for our children so that in that period when women are pregnant up to the time they have their children and children are two years they can get adequate nutrition which will ensure they grow to their full potential,” she explained.
While saying the collaboration is an opportunity to work and reach more women in the communities, Ezeogu said the state will benefit maximally on the development of the children.
Also speaking in an interview, the Project Coordinator of ADP, Mr Babasola Adeniyan said the meeting is the Monthly Technology Review Meeting (MTRM) to update the knowledge of the key staff of the project.
“This month’s edition is unique in the sense that we are doing it with the ministry of agriculture. The significance is the fact that they linked us up with UNICEF that is funding the meeting.
“UNICEF is also providing resource persons who will train our core staff who we refer to as subject matter specialists who will in turn go to our various zones in Okitipupa, Ondo, Owo and Ikare to train our frontline extension agents who will go to the field to train women on how to breast feed their babies.
“There are sets of activities we are to conduct jointly which is to help collect some data on the field in respect to infant and baby nutrition which they will use to monitor infant mortality in the state,” he stressed.
He said that the collaboration which began last year is a continuous one adding that ADP is ready to continue until Unicef is satisfied with the work.
Adeniyan called on the participants to give the activities the seriousness it deserved adding that to whom much is given much is expected saying they can not afford to disappoint Unicef.
The two-day programme which began on Monday ended yesterday.