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FG to treat 88,000 children with acute malnutrition, says Health Minister

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The Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, has said that his ministry procured materials needed to treat acute malnutrition in five states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory after partnering the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund for the project.

The minister made this known in a speech delivered on his behalf by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Abdullahi Mashi, at the dissemination meeting of the 2018 National Nutrition and Health Survey in Abuja.

According to him, the states were selected based on set criteria after they were requested to indicate interest. He added that the states and the FCT would be supported under the programme to establish malnutrition management centres in each senatorial district.

He said, “The ministry of health has procured ready-to-use therapeutic foods in partnership with UNICEF for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition in six selected states. The states are Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Edo, Osun and FCT.

“They will be supported to establish model Community Management of Acute Malnutrition treatment centre in each senatorial district.

“While the Federal Government through the ministry procured 35,000 cartons, UNICEF, as part of a Memorandum of Understanding, also contributed 35,000 cartons to match government efforts. With this we will be able to treat about 88,000 children with severe acute malnutrition and save more than 16,000 lives.”

Adewole added that the Federal Government, through its National Programme Management Unit, would assess the performance of its health programmes in all states of the federation in order to ascertain their current status.

He said the survey, which was presented at the event, was made possible by the National Bureau of Statistics, National Population Commission, UNICEF and the Save One Million Lives Programme for Result.

According to him, the Federal Government is committed to strengthening data collection and utilisation, adding that the 2018 survey was conducted to assess the current health and nutrition status of women and children in the country.

A total of 24,985, women aged between 15 and 49 were assessed for their nutrition status and productive health, using the National Nutrition and Health Status for the survey. Also, the survey assessed 19,471 boys and girls for anthropometry and health status.

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