The Jigawa Government says a survey has indicated that 60 percent of children under the age of five in the state are stunted as a result of severe acute malnutrition.
Executive Secretary, Jigawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Kabir Ibrahim-Aliyu, revealed this during an advocacy meeting in Kanoon Thursday, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
The meeting was organised by the Jigawa State Government in collaboration with the Aisha Buhari Foundation for the 27 local government chairmen and stakeholders on nutrition.
Ibrahim-Aliyu said that in spite of the commitment of the state government in tackling the issue of malnutrition, the high number of malnourished children remained alarming.
Stunting is the impaired growth and development that children experience from poor nutrition, repeated infection, and inadequate psychosocial stimulation.
Children are defined as stunted if their height-for-age is more than two standard deviations below the WHO Child Growth Standards median.
The executive secretary, therefore, noted that “in the past three years, the Jigawa Government had committed not less than N300m as part of efforts to improve nutrition among children under the age of five years.
“And I want to assure you that we will not relent in our efforts towards tackling malnutrition in the state, especially with the support of the Aisha Buhari
Foundation and other supporting agencies,” he said.
According to him, there is improvement in the issue of managing malnutrition, compared to 10 years ago, hoping that as time goes on, more improvement can be recorded.
Chairman, Association of Local Government of Nigeria in Jigawa, Aminu Sani-Gumel, said that the council chairmen had been putting a lot of efforts in the struggle to check malnutrition.
Sani-Gumel, who is also the Chairman of Gumel Local Government Area, said that the chairmen spend over N200,000 each, monthly, as commitment to end the malnutrition challenge.
Earlier, the Project Coordinator, Aisha Buhari Foundation, Mr. Omole Ukwedeh, said that the meeting was to create awareness on the menace of malnutrition.
He added that “the meeting is also to ensure that government efforts on nutrition are highlighted.
“It is to sensitise the participants on the malnutrition situation in the state, update stakeholders on government efforts toward reducing and managing the menace, and update local government chairmen about the Masaki Nutrition Initiative Advocate for sustainability of local government nutrition funding.”
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