Over 69,000 children in Bauchi need treatment on malnutrition

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Stakeholders on Tuesday say about 69,051 children will need to be treated of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in 2019 in Bauchi state.

The stakeholders made the declaration in a communique issued at the end of a one day policy dialogue on prevention and treatment of Severe Acute Malnutrition.

The event was organized by the Civil Society Legislative Centre (CISLAC) and Aisha Buhari Foundation (futured assured) in Bauchi.

The stakeholders include the state government officials, civil society organizations and the Media.

In the communique, read by Mrs Lovelyn Gabriel, stakeholders said “about 69,051 children would need to be treated of Severe Acute Malnutrition in 2019.

According to them, no funds have been released by the state government for Ready- to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) procurement.

They said although the state government contributed to the administration of the RUTF in the state,  the development partners had been the major financiers of RUTF procurement in the state.

“Nutrition situation in Bauchi state according to (NNHS 2018) shows that overall Stunting rate is 45.6 per cent, which is higher than the national average of 32.0 and North East Geopolitical zone average of 42.8 Consequently.

“The underweight rate of the state currently stands at 28.2 per cent, which is higher than the National and Geopolitical zones of 19.9 and 25.5 per cent respectively,” they said.

They said the state nutrition indices was worse than both the national and geopolitical zone average.

They urged government and other stakeholders to engage in aggressive campaign for exclusive breastfeeding and proper complementary feeding as a panacea for preventing malnutrition among children under 5 years.

The stakeholders also called on the state government to demonstrate strong political will to ensure the release of budgetary provision for the Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) and RUTF to avoid future stock out in the state.

They also stressed the need for the Ministry of Local Government Affairs to resume the implementation of the standing order on the smooth transportation of RUTF to health facilities and support to volunteers.

Bilkisu Pai