The Kaduna State Government says it will scale up its Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) to 10 additional Local Government Areas (LGAs) to treat 33,180 malnourished children.
The state’s Nutrition Officer, Hajiya Hauwa Usman told newsmen in Kaduna that three out of the 10 new LGAs would be supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Usman described CMAM as an approach that involved early detection of Severe Acute Malnutrition in communities and provides treatment for those without medical complications with Ready-To-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF).
She said: “There are currently 27 CMAM sites in five LGAs offering acute malnutrition treatment services and the sites include Zaria, Makarfi, Igabi, Kaduna North and Kaduna South.
” However, 18 LGAs, representing 78 per cent of the 23 LGAs in the state , are still without treatment facilities”.
She said that the decision to scale up the CMAM programme to 15 LGAs was necessary because the current 27 sites were grossly inadequate to treat all malnourished children in the state.
The nutrition officer said that work on three LGAs- Giwa, Soba, and Lere, to be supported by UNICEF, would commence next week.
“The remaining seven LGAs will be covered, hopefully, before the end of the year.
” The 10 addition LGAs, five sites each, will have the capacity to treat only 33,180, out of the 279,542 malnourished children in the state.
“Although CMAM is currently being implemented in 27 sites, 279,542 children is a large number that must be provided with access to treatment.
“Also, children suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) are currently being managed at 13 General Hospitals in Jama’a, Kachia, Kaduna North, Zaria, Makarfi, Birning Gwari, Kaduna South and Chikun LGAs.
“There is still need to scale up the sites from the current 13 to 23 General Hospitals in all LGAs in the state to treat reasonable number of the affected children,” she said.
Earlier, the UNICEF and Children Investment Foundation Fund (CIFF) had during a recent courtesy call on Gov. Nasir El-Rufa’i of Kaduna, pledged to support the government to treat the 279,542 malnourished children in the state.
According to UNICEF’S Chief of Nutrition, Simeon Nanama, SAM children are 12 times likely to die than healthy children, if not treated.
He had said that UNICEF would help mobilise resources and provide technical support in the treatment of affected children.
Also, Mr Jonathan Oates of CIFF, pledged to support the state government’s effort with 100 per cent of the sum released for nutrition intervention.
Gov. Nasir El-Rufa’I had said that the increasing population of malnourished children in the state was frightening in spite of ongoing efforts to address it.
He, however, said that the government was determined to put measures to address the menace.
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