No fewer than 29 children died as a result of malnutrition in Gombe state from January to October 2019 while undergoing treatment at Community Management for Acute Malnutrition Centres in the state.
The state Coordinator of Accelerated Nutrition results in Nigeria (ANriN) Sulaiman Mamman, stated this while speaking during stakeholders’ policy dialogue on prevention and treatment of Severe Acute Malnutrition as a Child right issue, organized by CISLAC and Aisha Buhari Foundation in Gombe on Tuesday.
Mr. Mamman said from January to October 2019, 5,029 malnourished children across the 18 Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) centres in four local government areas in the state were admitted and, 2,123 were treated and discharged.
He said 273 children defaulted and were not able to continue with treatment for reasons best known to their parents, and 29 children died while on treatment.
Also speaking, Gombe State House of Assembly chairman of the committee on appropriation, Aliyu Usman Baba Manu (GSHA) expressed concern on the issue of malnutrition in the state.
“We have seen from the body language of this government that the governor is serious with the issue of health because the Governor had shared with us that health is dear to him because without good health you were not sure of learning for children”.
Baba-Manu also said the house is working towards the passage of two bills relating to health.
He said: “One is for the establishment of the hospital management board in the state, so as to have some self-governing when it comes to the running of the hospitals; and the second one is for the creation of health insurance scheme in the state”.
In her remark, the CISLAC’s monitoring and evaluation (M&E) officer, Lovelyn Agbor-Gabriel, said the meeting would address the issue of timely release of budgeted funds for nutrition as well as increase opportunities for domestic investment for the scale-up of Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) in the state.
While calling for an increase in the policy response to nutrition funding at all levels of the state, Lovelyn stressed the need to strengthen accountability in utilization of funds for nutrition to make sure that children suffering from SAM receive treatment and enjoy their fundamental right to life.