UNICEF ranks two Nigerian States as having highest number of malnourished children
The UNICEF Bauchi D Field Office says Jigawa and Bauchi States have the largest number of malnourished children in Nigeria.
Dr. Danjuma Almustafa, UNICEF, Bauchi D Field Officer, stated this in Bauchi at the presentation of a report on National Nutritional and Health Survey.
Almustafa, who represented the UNICEF Chief of D Field Office, Bauchi, said: “The National Nutrition and Health Survey of 2015 shows that Jigawa has the highest prevalence of severe underweight children among all states surveyed.
“The situation is particularly critical in Bauchi where more than half of the children under five years are stunted.”
The official also said immunisation rate in the North East and North West regions of Nigeria was still the lowest in the country, with more than half of eligible children not being captured.
Almustafa pointed out that Nigeria was still far from achieving the universal mosquito net coverage as advised by the National Malaria Control Strategic Plan.
Almustafa also said diarrhea prevalence was still very high among children from six months to 24 months and therefore advised continued breast feeding until the age of two years.
He assured that UNICEF would continue to collaborate with the National Bureau of Statistics to provide up-to-date information on nutrition and health of children.
According to him, UNICEF will create platforms for the dissemination of research findings to other zones in the country to enable government and other organisations use same for their budgetary plans for children.
Almustafa said traditional and religious institutions would be encouraged to help in the advocacy for effective immunisation of children against the killer diseases.
In his remarks, the Project Director, National Nutrition Health Survey, Abuja, Siaka Olarewaju, said the findings would assist health organisations and government to plan and monitor indices of health activities.
Olanrewaju called on stakeholders to view the data with positive minds to enable them plan ahead of time.