In Nigeria, an estimated 70% of pre-school children suffer from anaemia, equating to 26 million individuals.To address the problem collectively, the Government endorsed home fortification with Micronutrient Powder (MNP) as a national policy linked with Infant and Young Child Feeding promotion. To initiate, scale and sustain the intervention nationally, a common vision for collective action between all stakeholders was developed.
A series of consultations and advocacy workshops were organised with key stakeholders: government, donors, UN, NGOs and academia and beneficiaries. The engagement extended beyond the Federal level; and as part of formative research, interactions took place with States, district authorities, community leaders and health workers, with 99 in-depth interviews and 24 community workshops undertaken.
MNP has been included as one of the interventions of the national nutrition plan. Consensus was reached to focus on children under two years with a strong emphasis on ensuring equity. With poverty level over 60% in Nigeria, public distribution was prioritised. Ongoing piloting of health facility and community distribution platforms will identify the most effective and equitable delivery approach to guide the national plan.
This process has ensured strong Government and community ownership of the programme. Community acceptance toward MNP has been established. Nigeria is well positioned to progressively scale up this integrated approach in collaboration between the Government and stakeholders through a pooled co-financing approach. There is commitment between Government and non-government partners to reach 11.3 million children aged 6-23 months with MNP annually by 2019.