A cross section of stakeholders involving Non-Governmental Organizations, Government officials and media experts, have described as alarming, the devastating effects of malnutrition in the north east of the Country.
The stakeholders made this known during a round-table discussion on malnutrition organized by a non-governmental organization in Bauchi State, Better Life Restoration Initiative (BERI).
Abdullahi Danlami Yusuf of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital in a paper presentation Titled “Malnutrition in Children” said about 12 percent of children aged 4 to 47 months are severely malnourished in Bauchi State.
He described as baffling some of the figures of malnourished children in the state despite the efforts of stakeholders to address the menace.
In her contribution, Mrs. Mercy Sosanya, a nutritionist from the Federal Polytechnic Bauchi said about 1.8 percent out of the 9.5 percent of malnourished Children in the North East was domiciled in Bauchi State.
She however calls on all stakeholders particularly government to adopt short and long-term strategies in ensuring nutrition macro-economic policies are enacted and properly implemented.
The Head of Nutrition Unit of UNICEF in Bauchi State, Dr. Martins Jackson who commended the state government for paying its counterpart funding also calls on all stakeholders to intensify their effort in the fight against malnutrition.
He expressed worries that mothers of malnourished children in most cases are not keen in exposing their children which makes it difficult for NGOs such as BERI to access them with aids. He calls for robust media collaboration in creating awareness and educating the general public on malnutrition related issues.
In his contribution, Hassan Alhaji Hassan who doubles as the Dean School of General Studies Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi and NIPR Chairman in the state described media practices among journalists as inefficient, which he says have contributed to the continuous disinformation of the citizenry in the country.
He said the unfortunate media poverty among journalists has paralyzed the sector, adding that journalism is not a money making Profession, hence the need for them to contribute their quota to nation building
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, Better Life Restoration Initiative calls on the state government and other NGOs to partner with his organization in reaching out to women across the state in fighting the scourge of the menace
Mr Nkem says women on their own can become malnutrition counselors if properly trained, adding that more efforts should be geared towards equipping women with the strategies in combating the problem.