Severe Acute Malnutrition Ravages Women, Children in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria

Picture of malnourished children
By Joseph Edegbo
Kaduna (Nigeria) – Worried by the prevalent of severe acute malnutrition, Kaduna state government has declared a state of emergency to fight against the scourge.
Chairperson of the Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan , KADENAP and wife of the Governor, Aisha Ummi El -Rufai announced this in Zaria at a 2- Day sensitisation workshop on the fight against malnutrition.
It was organised for journalists to assist in the fight through the dissemination of appropriate information that would not only boost nutritional activities but shape public attitude towards improved positive nutritional practices in the communities.
Aisha said the situation in the State has forced the agency to carry along relevant bodies to reach nooks and crannies of the state to collectively tackle the scourge.
The disturbing statistics of malnourished children in Nigeria with Kaduna having a high share, she said, was unacceptable.
A data presented at the workshop by a Nutritionist at the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Hauwa Usman shows that the State recorded 17,989 cases of severe acute malnutrition in 2017 out of which 11,324 were cured.
According to the data, malnutrition accounts for 50% deaths of under 5 children in the state.
A visit by participants at the workshop  to a Primary Health Centre in Kugu community of Zaria local government area revealed that 4,000 children were recorded to have suffered from severe acute malnutrition from 2016 to date.
According to the wife of the Governor ,”It’s quite unfortunately these are cases we often see on the news about children in far away counties but then we have them within us despite the abundance of food we have around us”.
One of the resource persons and a researcher,  Phoebe Yayi stressed the need for a behavioural change among Nigerians in order to achieve any impact in improvement of nutrition.
On his part, a lecturer at the Kaduna State University, Ayodele Joseph challenged journalists to develop passion and set agenda for government to take the required necessary action that would address the menace.
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