Katsina Spends N390m to Tackle Malnutrition in Children, Pregnant Women

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Hajiya Hadiza Bello Masari

By Francis Sardauna

The Katsina State Government has said it has expended N390 million to effectively tackle Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) bedevilling children and pregnant women in the state between 2017 to 2018.

The government also disclosed that it had inaugurated a taskforce on the implementation of adolescent nutrition programme in three local government areas of Kafur, Rimi and Kankia.

The wife of the state governor, Dr. Hadiza Bello Masari, who revealed this during a stakeholders’ meeting on nutrition Friday, organised by Aisha Buhari Foundation, Future Assured, said the funds were used to procured Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF).

She said: “The state government released the sum of N250,000 monthly to each of the 14 selected local government areas as support for Community-base Management of Severe Acute Malnutrition (CMAM).

“The state government also procured Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) to the tune of N250 million in 2017 and N140 million in 2018. Government also distributed iron folate and asbendazole to schools and out-of-school children in three selected LGAs of Rimi, Kafur and Kankia.”

Earlier, the state Nutrition Officer, Abdulhadi Abdulkadir, said a total of 33,769 children suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) have been enrolled into the CMAN programme between January and October 2019.

He said: “The programme only covers 14 local governments out of the 34 LGAs and 361 wards that we have in Katsina State, which is not enough considering the number of children that are having malnutrition and the number of children dying as a result of malnutrition.”

Also speaking, the Head of Advocacy and Communications, Aisha Buhari Foundation, Tessy Maina, said the meeting was aimed at exploiting alternative measures of addressing the scenario of malnutrition in the state.

She called on government at all levels to prioritize nutrition and ensure the speedy release of funds for the purchase of RUTF in order to end the prevailing number of malnourished children in the country.

According to her, “Katsina State is one of the states that has a huge number of children with severe acute malnutrition in Nigeria. So, we are looking at how private sectors and worthy individuals can support government to end this menace.”