By Asma’u Ahmad
The Jigawa State Government says it has commenced local preparation of Ready-To-Use-Therapeutic-Food (RUTF) to fight malnutrition among children in the state.
RUTF is an energy dense, micro nutrient enhanced paste, used in therapeutic feeding. The typical primary ingredients for RUTF include Peanuts, oil, sugar, milk powder, vitamin and mineral supplements which provide all the nutrients required for recovery.
Executive Secretary, State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (JGSPHCDA), Dr Kabir Ibrahim, made this known while flagging off the initiative on Dambutawa village of Jahun Local Government Area.
“This is a special intervention aimed at addressing child malnutrition at community level. The North has been seen to record very high level of malnutrition, probably leading the whole country.
“So we are trying to look for solution prepared with locally sourced raw materials,’’ Kabir said.
According to him, 36 women are selected from three communities and trained on how to prepare the solution using locally sourced raw materials.
“12 women were selected from each of the three pilot communities and trained on how to prepare the solution locally. “It is our hope that the technical skills they received during the training will enable them to ensure that as malnutrition starts at the community level, it is addressed at the community level using their local resources.
“The major idea of this initiative is that women are taught how to identify and measure malnourished children, provide appropriate intervention as well as evaluate the performance of their children over a period of time. “It is also to enable the women prepare the solution without waiting for any foreign material from outside their respective communities,’’ the executive secretary said.
According to him, the women are expected to step down the training to other women in their respective communities. Kabir added that the initiative will be extended to all communities across the 27 local government areas of the state.
Earlier, the state Director of Primary Healthcare Development, Dr Ibrahim Sambo, said the gesture would ease the difficulties mothers encounter while going to health facilities to obtain the solution.
“All they need to prepare this solution is millet, soya beans and groundnut which are readily available in their respective communities. “The last time we tested children here, out of 500, 60 were found to be severely malnourished; so this initiative will go a long way in reducing the number of malnourished children in the area and the state in general,’’ Sambo said.
Also, the Chairman of Jahun Local Government Council, Alhaji Saidu Abdu, commended the state government for the initiative. He said the initiative had assisted in stemming the menace of child malnutrition in the area. Abdu pledged the council’s continued support toward the full implementation and sustenance of the program.
Newsmen report that the council donated sacks of millet, soya beans, groundnut and other items for the commencement of the programme.