Acute malnutrition hits 7,271 children in Katsina

The Executive Secretary of the Katsina State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Shamsudeen Yahaya, Thursday said 7,271 out of 1.2 million children in the state are suffering from acute malnutrition.

He added that 92,766 children, particularly those in rural communities across the 34 local government areas of the state are battling with moderate form of malnutrition.

Yahaya, who was speaking in Katsayal community in Sandamu Local Government Area of the state during the distribution of locally made Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) by the wife of the state Governor, Dr. Zakiyya Aminu Masari, noted that many children under the age of five years in the state are stunted.

He said: “Last week, we had Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week. During this week-long activities, 1,298,279 were screened for malnutrition and during this screening, we were able to find out that 92,766 children have moderate malnutrition, while 7,271 out of 1.2 million have severe form of malnutrition.”

He explained that 174,772 pregnant women were given iron follic supplement by the state government for the period of one month, while 14,105 were also given Tetanus vaccine in order to prevent them from neonatal tetanus.

He affirmed that the state government has also given vitamin A supplement to 1,491,269 children between the ages of six months to 59 months, while a total of 1,251,678 children were equally dewormed by the present administration in the state during the period under review.

The executive secretary reiterated that the state government was adopting workable and preventive measures to ensure that the malnourished children have access to quality healthcare services as part of efforts to tackle malnutrition in the state.

He, however, said Sandamu Local Government is one of the local government areas in the state with the worst indicators in terms of routine immunization, calling on the head of the council, traditional and religious leaders within the local government to prioritise healthcare delivery.

“Sandamu is one of the LGAs in the state that has worst indicators in terms of routine immunization. Routine immunization is one of the key strategies to prevent death of children. So let us sit down together and see how we can improve the uptake in Sandamu,” he said.

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