One Square Meal a Day — Home-Grown Feeding Programme Keeping Niger State Children in School

Good nutrition impacts the health status of children and influences their learning abilities, and how well they perform in school.
In Niger State, as in other states where the programme is ongoing, the government’s aim was to increase school enrolment, attendance, and performance; improve nutrition among children of school age and boost the local economy. Nigeria Health Watch
The 1,728 pupils in Umaru Audi Memorial Primary School, Minna are among the 559,903 pupils currently being fed under the programme in 2,663 schools out of the 3,038 schools across Niger State. Nigeria Health Watch
Pupils of Kuyanbana Primary School in Bosso Local Government Area in Niger State are also part of the Home-Grown School Feeding Program. Nigeria Health Watch
The Home-Grown School Feeding Programme has also catalysed increased school enrolment. Nigeria Health Watch
The pupils receive one simple, cost effective, nutritious meal a day, from Monday to Friday. Nigeria Health Watch
Barrister Amina Gu’ar, State Coordinator/Focal Person of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) in Niger State. Nigeria Health Watch
The National Home Grown School Feeding Programme: Niger State Experience
A cross section of food vendors at Umaru Audi Memorial Primary School. Nigeria Health Watch
The coordinator of the NHGSFP vendors at Umaru Audi Memorial Primary School, Minna, Madam Talahtu.
Butchers preparing beef to be used by the vendors to cook children’s meals. Photo credit: Mr Umar Ndachachba
According to Ndashaba, a recent assessment of the nutritional status of school children in the state shows the programme is achieving one of its aims of combating malnutrition among school age children in the state. Nigeria Health Watch
There has been a 35.6% increase in school enrolment since the beginning of the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme in the state. Nigeria Health Watch
Although the pupils are served with a balanced diet, they are not served water with their meal. While water has no nutrients, it is essential to a child’s health. It makes up more than half of a child’s body weight and is needed to keep all parts of the body functioning properly. Nigeria Health Watch
It is unsafe to feed children meals without water, particularly when they are eating meals like bread and beans. Providing access to clean drinking water helps children increase their water intake and maintain hydration. Nigeria Health Watch
In addition, pupils were not encouraged to wash their hands with soap and running water before eating. Maintaining good hand hygiene, particularly among children plays a critical role in preventing infectious disease outbreaks. Nigeria Health Watch
Effective nutrition contributes to the proper development of children, who then become adults that will impact the nation’s development. Nigeria Health Watch

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Nigeria Health Watch

Nigeria Health Watch

We use informed advocacy and communication to influence health policy and seek better health and access to healthcare in Nigeria. nigeriahealthwatch.com