Seven state governments committed to partner with Alive & Thrive to scale up nutrition interventions as the country continues to advance its multisectoral agenda of improving national nutrition indicators. The states made the commitments at the October launch of “Accelerating the Scale of Maternal, Infant, and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) Interventions in Nigeria,” a new phase of Alive & Thrive’s work in Nigeria.
The new phase of work will take place in these seven states – Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Sokoto and Yobe.
“Because of the immense benefit this project is bringing to our states, on behalf of the seven states, I express our commitment,” said Dr. Tijjani Hussaini, executive secretary of the Kano State Primary Health Care Management Board. “We will provide all the needed support so that this project succeeds. The four key asks (of the states) are granted – consider them done.”
The “asks” were presented during the launch event and comprised:
- Increase financing for MIYCN to support and take interventions to scale
- Institute family friendly policies, including maternity leave and establishment of workplace lactation rooms
- Support enabling environment for nutrition data demand, use and management
- Domesticate and operationalize MIYCN policies and guidelines in states
Review new nutrition profiles for each of the seven states developed by Alive & Thrive
Already, five of these states—Bauchi, Borno, Kano, Sokoto and Yobe—have provided office space for Alive & Thrive field staff to enable effective collaboration through joint planning, implementation, and monitoring. Dr. Salma Ibrahim Anas, Director of Family Health at the Federal Ministry of Health, said such close collaboration was critical to ensuring sustainability of the interventions and institutionalizing the knowledge they generate.
“The sustainability starts today – it starts with that ownership,” Dr. Anas said in remarks she presented on behalf of the Federal Minister of State for Health, Dr. Joseph N. Ekumankama. “I'm glad that space has been created in some states (to allow Alive & Thrive staff to) stay with (government personnel) and work together. This will help fully institutionalize the knowledge.
“This is part of localization, and this is part of what allows for sustainability to happen.”
The commitments from the state governments kick-started a series of other commitments from other nutrition stakeholders, including USAID.
“USAID reaffirms its commitment to sustain its engagement with MICYN in its robust collaboration with Alive & Thrive through the Accelerating the Scale of Maternal, Infant, and Young Child Nutrition in Nigeria Project, to bring life-saving interventions and commodities to the mothers and children affected by malnutrition in Nigeria in partnership with the government of Nigeria,” said Laurie Rushton, representative of USAID Nigeria.
Dr. Anas similarly pledged the support of the Federal Government.
“We recognize the magnitude and the burden of nutrition in mothers and in children under 5 years and we are working together to put sustainability measures in place,” Dr. Anas said. “We are going to support Alive & Thrive through an enabling environment and whichever way where you have challenges.”
The new phase of activities, which continues through 2026, seeks to improve nutrition outcomes for mothers and children by building on Alive & Thrive’s previous work in Nigeria, which began implementation in 2016.
“With this new award, Alive & Thrive will build capacity of community based organizations, and strengthen primary health platform for efficient and effective delivery of maternal, infant, young child and adolescent nutrition services,” said Dr. Victor Ogbodo, Alive & Thrive’s Country Director in Nigeria. “Plus we are working with government, civil society organizations and other nutrition partners to ensure that the response and the goals of the interventions are achieved.”
Read Alive & Thrive's Nigeria Country Brief for additional details of the new activities.