UNICEF says N45bn needed to save severely malnourished children
About N45bn, approximately $142m at the rate of N315 per dollar is needed for procurement of Ready To Use Food (RUTF) to save two million severely malnourished children in Nigeria.
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which made the disclosure, said it has been able to reach about 500,000 SAM children with RUTF and other interventions.
UNICEF Nutrition Specialist Bauchi, Philomena Irene, explained during a media dialogue on child malnutrition in Yola, Adamawa State, that the remaining two million severely malnourished children need to be reached and UNICEF cannot take care of all those people.
Irene added that RUTF cost about 71dollar for a child, stressing that there is need for government at all levels to invest money for malnutrition, because malnourished children are found in every part of the country.
She noted that many of these severely malnourished children are found in northern part of the country, pointing out for instance, that in Kaduna State, about 1.6 million children are reportedly suffering from malnutrition.
The Guardian reports that malnourished children in Adamawa have benefitted from UNICEF’s CMAM program against severe acute malnutrition. Nutrition focal person in Nassarawo Primary Health Centre (PHC), Mrs. Bitrus Nacha, who made this known during a media visit to the PHC noted that malnutrition rate and number of deaths caused by the condition prior to UNICEF’s intervention used to be very disturbing, saying there is now a drastic reduction of the burden.