The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Children Investment Foundation Fund (CIFF) has pledged to support Kaduna State Government to treat no fewer than 279,542 severe acute malnourished children in the state.
UNICEF Chief of Nutrition, Simeon Nanama made the pledge during an assessment visit to Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) site at Primary Health Care, Jaji, Igabi local government area of Kaduna State.
Nanama noted that SAM children are 12 times likely to die than healthy children if not treated.
He stressed the need for increased intervention with focus on treatment of affected children to save them from avoidable deaths.
He said CIIF, a United Kingdom-based philanthropic organisation collaborates with other organisation around the world to improve the survival of children.
He said that UNICEF, in collaboration with CIFF is working in Nigeria to increase SAM health facilities for the treatment of affected children.
“Our goal is to ensure that treatment is available for majority of children affected with the disease, maintain high quality of treatment and ensure ownership and investment by local government areas in the programme, “Nanama said.
The Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Kaduna, Dr Zakari Adam, appreciated the state’s commitment over the years in implementing nutrition policies and interventions.
“I particularly commend Kaduna state for mobilising domestic resources for financing nutrition interventions, especially procurement of Ready to use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) used for the treatment of SAM.
“CIFF have been working in collaboration with UNICEF to scale up access to SAM treatment in Nigeria since 2014 and had so far spent about 60 million U.S. dollars, “Adam said.
He, therefore, urged the government to increase their funding to make RUTF available to sustain Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) services, adding that partners funding alone cannot sustain the programme.
Hajiya Ummi el-Rufai, wife of the Kaduna State Governor and Chairperson, Kaduna State Emergency Nutrition Action Plan (KADENAP) thanked UNICEF and CIFF for the support.
She said that 28 SAM treatment facilities are available in five LGAs, while 18 LGAs, representing 78 per cent of 23 the LGAs in the state are still without treatment facilities.
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