Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The intervention of EU- UNICEF in shoring up the health status of children and women in Bauchi State has helped more than 60 children with severe malnutrition to be admitted weekly at the Community-Based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) site at Aisha Isah Yuguda Under 5 Clinic, Darazo, Bauchi.
Nutrition Officer of the Center, Mr. Mustapha Yakubu, commended EU – UNICEF for their contributions in enhancing the wellbeing and health status of mothers and their children noted that the EU-UNICEF intervention in Bauchi health care services has been very helpful in the reduction of maternal and child health issues in the state.
Yakubu said: “The center, which was established in August 2017, has admitted 974 children so far, and on a weekly basis we receive an average of 50-60 cases of malnutrition. We have three permanent staff and 35 volunteers, all courtesy of EU – UNICEF partnership’s contributions.”
He said that the center used to have 80 to 90 children with acute malnutrition condition before the recent stock out of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF).
He explained that the challenge being encountered by the center is to ensure that clients complete their eight weeks dose of the treatment. “In the past, our registered clients were from 70 to 100 on weekly basis, because the clinic is once in a week,” he said, noting that the number of patients (clients) reduced because the food was some times out of stock. The nutrition officer added that, “we tried (to reach) those with contacts and they are back but some have no telephone contact numbers and live in hard to reach areas so they are not coming (back), which is not healthy. The non-availability of the food from April to August affected treatment.”
Yakubu acknowledged that the RUFT was at present available and that they are supplied the specialised food based on request by the center for continuous treatment of malnutrition in the Center.
The center is however faced with the challenge of inadequate human resource for health and the issue of stock out. According to him, the recent stock out which lasted more than four months affected treatment leading to relapse among most children. Shortage of RUTF hindered treatment of malnutrition in Bauchi.