Disturbed by the increasing cases of malnutrition, in Gombe State, the state House of Assembly has assured the people of the state of the release of fund budgeted to the state health sector and malnutrition intervention funds in the state
Speaker of the House, Sadiq Abubakar Ibrahim stated this while speaking during an advocacy visit to the House Committees on Health and Appropriation by Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre in partnership with Ahmed Kawu Heart Foundation, Society and the Future and Care for Life all based in Gombe.
“As part of our collective effort in fighting the scourge in Gombe state, we will give more attention to the Primary Health Care Development Agency, Ministry of Health and the Education sector as it’s marked as a priority by Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya,” the speaker said.
He also said that a strong engagement between the state legislature and civil society organisations in the state would go a long way in fast-tracking nutrition and other health sectors budget appropriation
The speaker further expressed deep concern over poor nutrition indices in the state as evident in the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey 2018 (NDHS 2018).
Speaking earlier, Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani) who was represented by the M&E Officer/Project Coordinator, Lovelyn Agbor said Nigeria has 2.5 million malnourished children which 11 states in northern Nigeria contributed 1.7 million and Gombe state included among.
She said nearly one thousand Nigerian children die of malnutrition-related causes every day, a total of 361,000 child death each year (about 1,000/day) on the account of malnutrition in Gombe state which has currently over 31,573 malnourished children
Rafsanjani urged the state government to take full ownership of nutrition funding in the state prevention and treatment of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and to scale up of CMAM from 36% to 100% from 4 local government areas to the remain 7 local government areas in the state.
He equally recommended for creation of an agency solely responsible for the implementation of nutrition-related intervention in the state, institutionalize the treatment of severe acute malnutrition in the state to avoid RUTF stock out in the state through provision of a budget line for SAM prevention as well as treatment and support local production and procurement of RUTF and also support domestication/implementation of the Child Right Act of 2003.