Officials of Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), a non governmental organization involved in fighting malnutrition in the country, have expressed concern over the high rate of malnutrition in Gombe state, They said the crisis was manifested through the high number of children below five years who were underweight, showed stunted growth and had high infant mortality.
They observed that “2017 MIC’s report, 32.5 percent was the stunting rate in Gombe State. To remain on track to achieve SDG’s two (2) in 2030, Gombe State needs to reduce stunting rates to 13 percent by 2025. UNICEF in their recent report, shows that the North is worst hit as millions of children are malnourished”.
The group made this known in Gombe on Wednesday during an advocacy visit paid to the state ministry of Economic Planning.
Speaking through the Gombe State Coordinator of CS-SUNN, Mrs. Comfort Mukollo, they NGO, said that unless a strategic action was taken to address these issues they might remain unchanged or grow worse.
The coordinator who said that the purpose of their visit was to partner with the Ministry in the area of food, noted that the areas of partnership include creating implementable milestones for mainstreaming nutrition in key ministries, agencies and departments of Government as well as strategies to scaling up nutrition in public spheres including communities.
The Permanent Secretary in the Gombe State Ministry of Economic Planning, Mr. Stephen Ayuba who spoke on behalf of the Commissioner, said Government is very much aware of the reality of the cases in the State.
According to him, the State Government had long come to the realization of the situation in the State but stressed that the Government and other partners must come together with a two pronged approach of prevention and treatment of existing cases.
He said the negative statistics in the State was already a big challenge to the State Government. He therefore expressed belief that collaboration with stakeholders in confronting the challenge will go a long way in winning the war.
He said Government had been partnering with organizations such as UNICEF, Save the Children International among many others as well as releasing counterpart funds in that direction adding that a memo is currently with the State Executive Council aimed at strengthening the activities of nutrition in the State.