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Kaduna has one million malnourished children —UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on Wednesday, said Kaduna State has the highest number of malnourished children with over 1.6 million children.

UNICEF’s Nutrition Specialist, Dr Florence Oni, disclosed this while presenting nutrition intervention score card in the last six months in the state during a two-day 2016 mid-year review meeting in Kaduna.

According to her, these children are suffering from one form of malnutrition or the other which is responsible for the death of 50 per cent of children under five years in the state.

“Currently, over 900,000 children, representing 57 per cent children in the state are stunted; meaning six out of every 10 children less than five years in the state are stunted due to malnutrition.

“Also, over 750,000 children are wasted, which implies that 47 per cent of the children are suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and are 10 times more likely to die.”

However, she said that the state government was already doing something about it, adding that much needed to be done if the epidemic would be addressed.

“So far, the state government has released about N37 million to treat just about 3,060 children, and UNICEF had equally supported the government with same amount to treat additional 3,060 children.

“When you add up, it will give you just 6,120 children that are being treated. This is a very insignificant figure when compared with the over 1.6 million malnourished children in the state,” she said.

She added that UNICEF, in collaboration with the state government, rolled out Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) in March this year as part of efforts to address the problem.