Daji Sani in Yola
A nutrition specialist with United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Mrs. Philomena Irene, has disclosed that 34,000 children are suffering from acute malnutrition in Adamawa State.
She said due to the alarming malnutrition in children of the state, the UNICEF and the state government were working to eradicate the problem bedeviling the state, following the onslaught of Boko Haram insurgency which had impoverished the people living in the state and could not have adequate feeding .
Irene disclosed this in Yola during the opening ceremony of a one day workshop on Media Orientation on Nutrition Intervention in Adamawa State, organised by Adamawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency in collaboration with UNICEF Nigeria Field Office, Bauchi.
She said about 60 centres opened in the state to create awareness in mothers and treat children suffering from malnutrition.
Irene also said that research has shown that about 82 per cent of Adamawa mothers were not practicing exclusive breast feeding which constituted one of the reasons for the malnutrition cases, adding that all hands must be on deck to save the alarming situation in Adamawa State.
She said the effort to reduce malnutrition in children to the barest minimum in the state have to involve everybody and stakeholders such as traditional rulers, clergy and the government or policy makers who were supposed to capture the issue in the budget so as provide adequate funding.
Also speaking, the Communication Officer (Media and External Relations), Mr. Samuel Kaluu, said because of the alarming situation, UNICEF has taken its advocacy campaigns to the media, urging journalists to play proactive role in stemming the tide of the scourge that was behind the death of many children.
He said the one day workshop was organised to orientate the media on alarming nature of malnutrition threatening the lives of the younger generation.
Kaluu said that the media has a vital role to play in enlightening the public, particularly mothers of malnourished children of the availability of Community Management of Acute Malnutrition centres to cater for their children. “As journalists, you are in a better position to raise awareness,” Kaluu said.