102,761 Malnourished Kebbi Children Treated in 4 Years
By Uangbaoje Alex, Birnin Kebbi
About 102,761 malnourished children were treated in Kebbi State between 2015 and 2019, with the support of the European Union-Maternal, New-born, Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) Project, according to Mrs Beatrice Kwere, the State Nutrition Officer.
Kwere, who revealed that the number of malnourished children in the state has continue to reduce drastically since the commencement of the UNICEF implemented project, added that 77,757 malnourished children were treated between 2015 and 2017 while 25,004 were treated from 2018 to 2019.
She said through the project access to preventive services through the promotion of Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices and provision of Micronutrients Powder (MNP), has increased. And that curative services in Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) sites and stabilisation centres also increased immensely.
“For example, the MNCHN project has increased the number of Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) sites from 90 in 15 Local Government Areas in 2017 to 120 in 21 LGAs as at 2019.
“The stabilisation centres for Severe Acute Malnourished (SAM) had also increased from 21 to 25, while the number of support groups promoting IYCF in 15 LGAs had equally increased to cover 21 LGAs.
“The project has helped us to provide MPN to 27,514 in 2017, 94,674 in 2018 and 77,869 in 2019.
“It also helped us to reach out to 121,006 pregnant women with IYCF information in 2017, 79,937 in 2018 and 105,215 in 2019,” she said.
A beneficiary of IYCF intervention, Mrs Asiya Muntari, a mother of seven in Gamuzza Village, Argungu LGA, commended UNICEF and EU for improving the nutritional status of rural women and children through the EU-MNCHN project.
Muntari said that she has seen the benefits of Exclusive Breastfeeding (EBF) when she tried it on her seventh child, a six months old baby girl.
“My baby girl is strong, healthy and smart and I have never taken her to the hospital on account of ill health.
“I have never practise EBF on any of my child but decided to give it a try after the UNICEF and EU MNCHN hard-to-reach Outreach Team told me of its numerous benefits, so I decided to try.
“This is the sixth months and I am impressed with the remarkable result so far.
“All my other kids had diarrhea and other sicknesses and am always in the hospital treating one disease and another, but everything was different with her,” she said.
She added that two other women in the community had keyed-in and began exclusively breastfeeding their babies haven seen the importance of EBF to child’s healthy growth and development.