Kaduna board distributes therapeutic food to malnourished children

The Kaduna State Health Care Board
has started distributing Ready-to-Use Therapeutic (RUTF) to malnourished children in
local government areas.

Mr Umar Bambale, the Project Manager, Kaduna State Emergency Action Plan (KADENAP),
made this known in an interview with the News Agency of () on Friday in Zaria.

Bambale told on the sideline of a quarterly review meeting with local government
Focal that the RUTF were distributed to 15 local government areas offering Community
Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) services.

He described RUTF as an energy-dense, mineral and vitamin-rich that requires no preparation
specifically designed to treat Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).

He recalled that KADENAP had in May facilitated the procurement of 3,450 cartons of the RUTF
worth N100 million for the treatment of SAM children in the state.

He said that RUTF was procured with N100 million provided by the state government, adding that processes were ongoing for the release of additional N500 million to procure more RUTF.

He added that “while efforts are ongoing to prevent malnutrition among children under five years, government is determined to ensure that no child dies of malnutrition.

“This is why the government approved an additional N500 million for the procurement of RUTF to ensure that the CMAM sites do not run out of stock.

“We are currently promoting community infant and young child feeding practices such as early initiation of breast milk within an hour of birth, exclusive breastfeed and age- complementary feeding.

“This is done with support from partners like UNICEF, Save the Children, Alive and Thrive, Global Alliance for Improved among others to prevent malnutrition among children under five years,” he said.

Mr George Adams, the Assistant State Nutrition Officer, had explained at the meeting that government treated 5,573 SAM children out of 7,075 admitted at CMAM sites between January and May.

Adams explained that the cure rate was 78.8 per cent, above the 75 per cent target.

He added that so far,  71,653 SAM children had been cured out of the 96,403 admitted between 2017 and May 2021, representing 74.3 per cent cure rate in spite of challenges by COVID-19.

Mrs Priscilla Dariya, the Deputy Director, Aid Coordination of PBC, had explained at the of the meeting that the objective was to review nutrition activities in the state.

Dariya said that the meeting was also to document barriers and opportunities for optimal nutrition practices and capacity of members on how to implement nutrition programmes.

“The meeting was also to facilitate coordination of nutrition activities in local government areas and behavioural change toward positive living,” she said. ()

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