By Asma’u Ahmad
The United Nation Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has warned that 32,000 children in Jigawa would die of malnutrition in 2016, if not treated.
The UNICEF Nutrition Specialist in Bauchi field office, Mrs. Philomena Irene, raised the alarm at the presentation of Operational Research and Impact Evaluation (ORIE) in Dutse, Jigawa state capital.
Mrs. Irene explained that from statistics, 600,000 of 1,100,000 children under five years old in the state were stunted.
According to her, the figure from their survey, which showed that more than 60 per cent of children were malnourished, was disturbing and far more than national average.
She said that at least 165,000 of children between six to 59 months in the state were severely malnourished.
The nutritionist advised that there must be greater and wider awareness of the evidence for nutrition and there must be effective intervention to tackle it.
Irene said that a platform must be provided by state and local governments to engage in discussion on action to be taken to improve nutrition in the state. She lamented that based on findings, the state budgeted N90 million for nutrition in 2015, but nothing out of the fund was release for nutrition related programmes in the state.
Irene added that ORIE was engaged by the Department for International Development (DFID) to conduct operational research, which would help to contribute to greater awareness.