Kano -Mr Abdullahi Magima, Kano State Technical Adviser, Community-based Management for Acute Malnutrition (CMAM), on Friday advised civil society organisations and community-based organisations to engage in more advocacy on malnutrition hazards to care givers to reduce child mortality.
Magima gave this advice at a two-day media dialogue facilitated by UNICEF in Kano.
He said malnutrition had constituted most of the child death in Africa including Nigeria on a large scale.
Magima added that most women and care givers that had mal-nourished children, especially in the Northern part of the country, attribute the condition to spiritual affiliation.
“Most of these women need to be sensitised to go the Primary Health Care Centres to seek help for their children because some of them stay at home and assume their children’s problem is spiritual.
“It is because they are not armed with the information required and some of them don’t even know what combination of food to give to their children and at the long run, the child might die or have delayed development.
“It is very important that every sector, both private and public, include nutrition sensitisation into their plans and programmes to make sure the crisis of malnutrition is driven home to people that need to know about it,” he said.
He stated that the issue of malnutrition was most prevalent in the 11 states around the North.
He listed the affected states as Kebbi, Jigawa,Taraba, Borno, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Adamawa, Zamfara, Sokoto and Yobe.
Magima said that 30 CMAM centres were established in six local government areas of the state against 44 local government areas, saying this is not enough to tackle the malnutrition crisis ravaging Kano.
Mrs Maryam Abdullah, Officer in charge of Yan’Awaki Primary Health Care Centre for CMAM, Kano state, also said that an average of 100 children come for clinical service twice a week for the first time.
Abdullahi added that an apparatus, Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC), that had three shades of colour and measurement demarcation was used to ascertain the nutritional status of the baby.
“We normally have like more than 100 children that come to the centre in the week with cases of poor feeding and when we measure their upper arm, they are usually below the required status of healthy children.
“So at the initial stage we give them antibiotics and Ready to use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) which they take consecutively for eight weeks,” Abdullahi said.
According to her, the children are meant to improve after eight weeks of taking the drugs and RUTF, but referred to advanced medical centres if they do not recuperate.
In the absence of the RUTF normally donated by the state government and donor agencies, Abdullahi said there were free provided natural food the mothers could feed the children which could recuperate them.
The officer said the children could be fed with millet, soya beans and groundnut in a combined preparation, fruits, porridge beans and vegetables to nourish them.
She, however, decried the poor situation of the centre, adding that it had no water facility, poor supply of drugs and the women were challenged in the means of transporting themselves to the clinic.
She called on donors and the government to improve the working situation by providing the necessary things they would need to effectively discharge their duties. (NAN)