NGO wants Gombe govt to review policy on severe acute malnutrition

THE Civil Society Legislative Action (CISLAC), an NGO, has called on Gombe State Government to review its policy document on how to quickly reduce cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in the state.

Mr Murtala Mohammed, Programme Manager, CISLAC, made the call in an interview with newsmen on Monday in Gombe, shortly after meeting with women groups, youths and journalists, on how to tackle SAM in the state.

Mohammed said though there had been a progress report, a lot still needed to be done to improve on the current status to achieve the national set standard.

He said the improvement rate at the national standard was five per cent reduction, but it was less than three per cent in Gombe, which was not an encouraging level.

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“We are calling on Gombe State Government to review its policy document on how to implement SAM reduction so that a five per cent target would be achieved every year.

“We want a situation whereby in the next five to six years, new admissions will reduce and those admitted would be cured.

“We do not want to experience a shortage of RUTF (Ready to Use Therapeutic Food) because many children lost their lives as a result of such shortages,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that many children in the state have died following the absence of RUTF for more than three months.

The programme manager, however, commended the government for its efforts towards fighting malnutrition with the recent release of N50 million worth of RUTF.

He said the recent RUTF supplies had changed the nutrition status of children and had tremendously reduced their death rate.

He said the distribution of the commodities to the four Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM), in the state in July, would go a long way in solving SAM challenge in Gombe State.

Mohammed urged women to help in enlightening others on the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding.

He further urged youths to use social media platforms to educate people on the problems associated with SAM.