By Ahmed Ahmed
A Professor of Pediatric and Community Health,University of Maiduguri ,Hashiru Garba, says Bauchi state has the worst record burden of Malnutrition in Northern Nigeria.
Garba who spoke on behalf of Consortium of development partners working on advocacy for nutrition in Northern Nigeria, made the disclosure at the fourth quarter meeting of the state committee on food and nutrition in Bauchi on Monday.
He said highlights of Nutrition burden in the North, precisely shows that Bauchi was the worse with cases of severe acute malnutrition (SAM).
According to him, we used survey to know the situation of malnutrition after a sample of population in smart survey by taking measurements of weight and height of children to know their nutrition status.
“Bauchi state is the worst hit by malnutrition in North Eastern Nigeria with 45.6 percent stunting that is, impaired growth and development that children experience from poor nutrition, repeated infection.
“Inadequate psychosocial stimulation rates and 28.2 per cent underweight severe weight loss respectively,” he said.
Garba, said that the consortium advocates for mainstreaming nutrition into Primary Health Care, mainstreaming funding and development structures can improve the health system.
He added that inadequate knowledge of early initiation of breastfeeding after birth as well as negative cultural perception of colostrum are some of the challenges of malnutrition in the state.
He stressed that sustainability should be the key for tackling malnutrition.
He noted that the state cannot continue relying on UNICEF to support Community of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) with Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) infant and young children feeding (IYCF ) in the state.
He however urged other Civil Society Organizations to partner with the state government towards intensifying the issue of sustainability and funding to solve the problems of malnutrition.
Responding, Alhaji Yahuza Adamu the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of budget and planning, who is the chairman of the committee reiterated the determination of the state government on malnutrition.
He said 2020 budget have good proposal for food and nutrition, while assuring timely releases of funds.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the consortium comprises of Network for Health Equity and Development (NHED),Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Aisha Buhari Foundation (ABF).
Also included is the International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH) which supported the meeting.