49 Children Died of Acute Malnutrition in Gombe State
No fewer than 49 children under the age of five died from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and other health-related problems in Gombe state in 2020.
Chairman of Maternal Newborn and Child Health coalition (MNCH), Mal. Alhassan Yaya made this known in an interview with newsmen in Gombe on Thursday.
Yaya said that the Coalition recently went round the six Local Government Areas out of the 11 in the state, where nutrition services are rendered and observed that the Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) centres do not have testing kits for HIV screening, a development he said needed to be addressed promptly.
Yaya stated that: “What we realized was that some children were receiving treatment for long, but there is no improvement. After our investigation, we found out that there were no testing kits for HIV screening at the centres”.
He added: “These children may be infected with HIV that was why their condition is not improving hence the need for testing kits to know their status”.
According to the Coalition, HIV, Hepatitis, and Genotype screenings are necessary for malnourished children because it is only through the test that they will know the child’s status before placing him on drugs and Ready-to-Use-Therapeutic-Food (RUTF) a dietary supplement used for the feeding of Severe Acute Malnourished children or children with special nutrition requirements.
The coalition also called on the Gombe state government to release the remaining N50 million approved for the procurement of RUTF saying that, initially the amount approved was N75m and out of the amount only N25 million has been released and 1,514 cartons of RUTF were procured and distributed at the CMAM centres across the six LGAs.
“Presently we do not have a single cartoon of RUTF at the medical store, we distributed all to the CMAM centres. As soon as the one at the CMAM centres finishes, we will go back to square one,” Yahaya said.