One out of every five pregnant women and children are malnourished in North East -FG
By Mariam Sanni
The Federal Government through the Minister of Budget and Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed has disclosed that one out of every five pregnant women and children are malnourished in the North Eastern part of the country, especially in Borno and Yobe state.
The minister gave the indication while briefing journalists on the update of the integrated basic nutrition response to the humanitarian crisis in Borno and Yobe state.
She said the federal government in its bid of supporting humanitarian efforts in the two states is dispensing food items and folic acids to thousands of pregnant women in the two States.
The minister added that as part of the humanitarian response for conflict affected states, the UNICEF has been helping tremendously in given treatment to the malnourished children in consortium with Action against hunger(AAH),World Food programme,with funding support from the Department of International development.
The honourable commissioner for health in Borno state,Dr Haruna Msheila said the state government has been receiving humanitarian support from different non governmental organisation with visible presence in eleven local governments.
The commissioner said according to the nutrition sector response review of May 2016,it was estimated that there are 350,373 severe acute malnutrition cases,and 182,804 malnourished pregnant and lactating women in Borno and Yobe in 2016.
Dr Haruna said there has been a significant improvement in the area of integrated food assistance,and nutrition intervention.
He noted that several thousands of children under five had been given vitamin A supplementation and zinc,and thousands of pregnant women reached with iron folate.
The head of office,DFID Nigeria,Ben Mellor is urging humanitarian agencies to scale up its effort in delivering further assistance to the conflict affected people in Nigeria..
“Here in Nigeria ,particularly in Northern Nigeria ,we see the challenge of undernutrition in the faces and in the stunted bodies of children.
But it us not just about recognising the challenge,or talking about the challenge, it is about doing something about the challenge ,he said..
Ben Mellor noted that this year alone, the UK DFID has contributed about 29billion naira to the humanitarian response in the North east and will reach more than one million people with life saving support.
“To maximize the impact of the nutrition specific intervention and reduce the occurrence of severe acute malnutrition relapse, the children and the family is supported through cash based transfer of seventeen thousand naira for six months which they can use to start small business that will sustain them,”he said.