Nigeria: Acute Malnutrition Looms in Katsina

18 May 2020

At least 2,000 children in Katsina State are at the risk of being hit with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) as the state runs out of stock of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) supplement used for the treatment of acute malnutrition in children, THISDAY investigation has revealed.

Findings at the 15 Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) centres in Mani, Daura, Kaita, Dutse, Jibia, Danmusa, Batsari, Ingawa, Sandamu, Baure, Mashi, Zango, Bakori, Mai'adua and Bindawa Local Government Areas yesterday revealed that the centres have no RUTF supplement.

THISDAY reliably gathered that no fewer than 200 new cases of malnourished children were being registered monthly at each of the 15 CMAM centres in the state.

Further investigations also showed that the centres had run out of stock since February this year and the last supply to the centres was received in December 2019, causing break in the treatment of SAM in under-five years children in the state.

Hundreds of women, who have been visiting the CMAM sites with their malnourished children to collect the food supplement, were said to had stopped going to the centres due to the non-availability of the commodity.

When contacted, the state Nutrition Officer, Abdulhadi Abdulkadir, confirmed that all the CMAM centres in the state have run out of stock of the RUTF supplement.

He explained that the state government had in December 2019 received 8,000 cartons of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food and distributed across the 15 CMAM centres, saying it has since been exhausted.

Abdulkadir, however said the state government in collaboration with the United Nations Children's Funds (UNICEF) had concluded arrangements to procure the RUTF supplement.

"We don't have RUTF at state and local governments' levels; the commodity is out of stock. It was supplied by the federal government in December last year and it was just 8,000 cartons. So, it has been exhausted.

"Normally, the state government used to give certain amount of money as counterpart funding with UNICEF, but now, because of the situation on ground, I think the state government has shifted its attention to COVID-19 and security issues," he stated.

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