2. 0 GOALS OF THE NATIONAL FOOD AND NUTRITION POLICY AND PLAN OF ACTION
2.1 Goals of the Policy
2.1.1 Overall Goal
The overall goal of Nigeria's Food and Nutrition Policy is to improve the nutritional status of all Nigerians, with particular emphasis on the most vulnerable groups, i.e., children, women, and the elderly.
2.1.2 Specific Goals
The Food and Nutrition Policy aims to promote the following specific goals:
(i) Establishing of a viable system for guiding and coordinating food and nutrition activities undertaken In the various sectors and at various levels of the society, from the community to the national level;
(ii) Incorporating of food and nutrition considerations into development plans and allocation of adequate resources towards solving the problems pertaining to food and nutrition at all levels;
(iii) Promoting habits and activities that will reduce the level of malnutrition and improve the nutritional status of the population;
(iv) Identifying of sectoral roles and assignment of responsibilities for the alleviation of malnutrition;
(v) Ensuring that nutrition is recognised and used as an important indicator to monitor and evaluate development policies and programmes; and
(vi) Promoting good, indigenous food cultures and dietary habits among Nigerian people for healthy living and development.
2.1.3 Specific Objectives
To achieve the overall goal of improving nutritional status of vulnerable groups, a number of specific objectives have been formulated, as follows:
1 To improve food security at the household and aggregate levels to guarantee that
families have access to safe food that is adequate (both in quantity and quality) to meet the nutritional requirements for a healthy and active life;
2. To enhance care-giving capacity within households with respect to child feeding and child care practices, as well as addressing the care and well-being of mothers;
3. To improve the provision of human services, such as health care, environmental sanitation, education, and community development;
4. To improve the capacity within the country to address food and nutrition problems; and
5. To raise understanding of the problems of malnutrition in Nigeria at all levels of society, especially with respect to its causes and possible solutions.
2.2 Goals of the NPAN
The goals of the National Plan of Action on Food and Nutrition in Nigeria is to initiate new programme focus, integrate and coordinate effectively all food and nutrition programmes of all sectors. Furthermore, it is to advance vigorously a national nutrition agenda that will recognise and respond effectively to regional, zonal, and specific needs in accordance with the National Policy on Food and Nutrition in Nigeria. A detailed individual workplan of each project is expected to be developed based on more detailed time frame and budget.
In this context the following goals will be pursued in the overall national programme:
1. Improve the economic situation of Nigeria, with particular emphasis on protecting the welfare of the most vulnerable groups in society; and
2. Increase investment in the social sector, thereby raising the status of women in our society by increasing their access to and control over productive resources.
2.2.1 General and Specific Objectives of the NPAN
These are presented before the details of each of the 5 programme areas
2.3 Targets of the NPAN
The following targets are being set to address the food and nutrition problems in the country:
1. Reduce the level of poverty by 10% by 2010 from the 65.8% (1996);
2. Reduce starvation and chronic hunger to the barest minimum through increased food intake;
3. Reduce undernutrition, especially among children, women, and the aged, and, in particular, severe and moderate malnutrition among under-fives by 30% by 2010;
4. Reduce micronutrient deficiencies, particularly iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) [13%], vitamin A deficiency (VAD) [29.5%], and iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) [36.5%] by 50% of these levels by 2010;
5. Reduce the rate of low birth-weight (less than 2.5 kg) at 17% to less than 10% of the above level by 2010;
6. Reduce diet-related, non communicable diseases by 25% of current levels by 2010;
7. Improve general sanitation and hygiene, including the availability of safe drinking water from the 54% level;
8. Reduce the prevalence of infectious and parasitic diseases that aggravate the poor nutritional status of infants and children by 25% of the current levels.
3.2 Food Security, Food Safety, and Consumer Protection
3.2.2 General Objectives
- To improve food production, availability, and access to high quality foods to meet the needs of the whole population;
- To develop an effective monitoring system to enforce appropriate food laws for effective inspection and compliance;
- To protect the consumers through improved food quality and safety
3.2.3 Specific Objectives
- To promote production and utilisation of all staple foods
- To promote production and utilisation of traditional foods, especially the under-utilised and unappreciated.
- To establish a strong and effective food quality control system to protect the consumers against improperly processed and substandard foods.
- To reduce post harvest losses through improved storage, pest control, and handling
- To strengthen existing institutional capacity to enforce appropriate food laws for effective inspection and compliance.
- To create consumer awareness on recognition of registered and certified processed food products.
3.3 ENHANCING CARE GIVING CAPACITY
3.3.2 General Objectives:
- To integrate essential nutrition actions into PHC services.
- To improve the knowledge, attitudes and practices of caregivers at the community and household levels, especially as these relate to food and nutrition.
- To enhance the provision of care to vulnerable groups (under-fives, pregnant and lactating mothers, the elderly, socio economically disadvantaged, people living with HIV/AIDs etc.)
- To enhance the knowledge and skills of caregivers to reduce the risk of maternal morbidity and mortality.
3.3.3 Specific Objectives:
- To improve the adequacy, accessibility, and utilisation of health services in the community
- To promote, protect and support breastfeeding and adequate complementary feeding practices for the improved care of infants and young children in the context of key household practices.
- To improve water supply, sanitation, and hygiene at the household level.
- To promote caring capabilities in community-based child care centres.
- To promote caring capabilities within households and the community for other vulnerable groups.
- To collaborate with other stakeholders to help improve access to maternal and newborn services.
- To promote school feeding programmes using locally available foods.
3.4 ENHANCING PROVISION OF HUMAN SERVICES
3.4.2 General Objectives
- To prevent and manage nutrition-related and infectious diseases.
- To prevent and control micronutrient deficiencies.
3.4.3 Specific Objectives
- To prevent and manage nutrition-related diseases among the vulnerable groups.
- To prevent and manage infectious diseases among the vulnerable groups.
- To improve general sanitation and hygiene, including availability of safe drinking water.
- To prevent and control micronutrient deficiencies particularly IDD, . VAD, IDA, and zinc deficiency.
- To prevent and control the mother-to-child transmission of HIV infection
- To prAvent and control the spread of parasitic infections such as helmitiths, -malaria, and water-borne diseases.
3.5 IMPROVING CAPACITY TO ADDRESS FOOD AND NUTRITION ISSUES
3.5.2 General Objectives
- To enhance a conducive macro-economic environment for addressing food and nutrition problems
- To ensure the incorporation of food and nutrition goals in Government development plans.
- To develop an effective system for assessing, analysing and monitoring nutrition situations in the country
3.5.3 Specific Objectives
- To improve the coordinating and implementing capacity at national, state and LGA levels to address food and nutrition issues
- To ensure collaboration between various sectors responsible for nutrition issues with a view to generating information and utilizing this information for policy review/ formulation, programme planning and implementation
- To ensure that the programme content of the relevant sectors places adequate emphasis on nutrition
- To ensure the allocation of appropriate resources for addressing food and nutrition problems of the population
- To develop an effective monitoring and evaluation system for food and nutritional activities in the country.
3.6 RAISING AWARENESS AND UNDERSTANDING OF THE PROBLEMS OF MALNUTRITION IN NIGERIA
3.6.2 General Objective
- To develop and disseminate Information, Education and Communication material for behavioral change to effect reduction in malnutrition.
3.5.3 Specific Objectives
- To design, and produce nutrition advocacy materials.
- To provide advocacy skills training for food and nutrition coordinators and implementers.
- To design, and produce nutrition IEC materials.
- To disseminate nutrition IEC materials to increase level of awareness and understanding of problems of malnutrition in Nigeria.
- To develop and disseminate food-based dietary guidelines for all age groups.