Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has enjoined the Gombe State House of Assembly to place high premium on creating sustained budget line for the prevention and treatment of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).
It also called on Gombe lawmakers to intensify oversight functions in the implementation of the budget and policies of nutrition and family health issues.
The Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Rafsanjani, who spoke during a one-day retreat organised for members of Gombe State of Assembly in Bauchi recently, called on the lawmakers to support the fight against malnutrition.
The retreat was put together in partnership with the International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH).
The Executive Director who was represented by the Head, Monitoring and Evaluation, CISLAC, Lovelyn Arbor said there was need to fast track measures to change the current trend of the public health challenge in the state.
“According to the National Nutrition and Health Survey of 2018, Nigerian has 2.6 million cases of SAM, with the North-east, where Gombe State is located, carrying the highest burden of 60 percent of the cases.
“The survey also indicated that Nigerian records 361,000 deaths from SAM yearly, which translate to 1000 deaths per day,” he said.
Rafsanjani, who expressed optimism on the commitment of the House members, also said that emphasis should also be placed on preventive approach towards addressing the challenges.
In a goodwill message, the Gombe State Speaker, Hon. Sadiq Ibrahim assured CISLAC and other partners of the House support towards achieving desired goals and objectives in that direction.
He said as members representing different communities, they were equally worried about the menace.
“As you may be aware, the topmost priority area of the state governor is health. We have since keyed into this priority areas of concern to give it all the necessary support.
“We assure you of our commitment towards improving and reducing cases of SAM to the minimum. We are fully committed to changing the narratives.”