UNITED Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has raised concerns over severe acute malnutrition threat in some northern states, especially Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.
The Fund said urgent attention is required to contain the situation, as over 440,000 children in the three states are likely to face severe acute malnutrition by the end of 2019.
This was contained in a presentation made by UNICEF nutrition specialist, Abigail Nyukuri, at United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) sponsored media dialogue in Maiduguri, on Thursday.
Nyukuri said the malnutrition situation has reached global emergency, hence the need for local and international attention to salvage the situation.
She said that over 440, 000 children under the age of five, are expected to come face to face with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in the three states before the end of 2019.
The specialist, however, said that the figure was expected to drop to 258, 950, in 2020.
“Breakdown of the figure for 2019 indicated that 11 per cent of children in Borno suffers SAM, 13 per cent in Yobe and six per cent in Adamawa’’.
She said the problem of malnutrition was worsened by inability of local and international health and rescue workers to access some communities in Rann, Magumeri, Jere and Konduga LGAs in Borno due to recent increase in activities of insurgents.
Nyukuri added that N4.4 billion was required to close the gap for the procurement of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) for malnourished children.
She also said that the RUTF was needed to be distributed to malnourished children in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps.