27/05/2014 by Hugh Lort-Phillips
Nigeria has the third highest number of children under five suffering from acute malnutrition globally. As such, with the support of a number of partner organisations, the Nigerian Ministry of Health (FMOH) has been implementing community-based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) programmes in the northern states of Nigeria since 2009. First piloted in one state (Gombe), CMAM programmes have now been rolled out to 11 of the northern Nigerian states comprising a total of 378 CMAM sites.
Between October 2013 and February 2014 a SLEAC (Simplified Lot Quality Assurance Sampling Evaluation of Access and Coverage) assessment was carried out across 75 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in these 11 states. This report summarises the results of the SLEAC and highlights the main reasons for the low coverage of SAM treatment programmes in states which were reported as having particularly low coverage.
Led by Valid International and funded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), the assessment included a four day training session on SLEAC methodology for in-country survey teams in different nutrition stakeholders in the country including representatives from different government ministries, NGOs and UNICEF.
The assessment found that 27 LGAs had low coverage of CMAM programme, 40 had moderate coverage and 4 had high coverage. The recommendations of the assessment included:
- Improve community mobilization (including more community-level sensitisations, greater inclusion of community leaders in CMAM activities and more active case finding by volunteers with MUAC tapes);
- Improve service delivery by strengthening the integration of CMAM programmes into routine health activities;
- Tackle access issues by pushing out more mobile treatment units in remote villages and providing 2 weeks supply of RUTF for each programme;
- Integrate the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition with CMAM programmes; and
- Undertake regular SQUEAC investigations in each state (at least) to understand the different barriers and boosters of each context.