The Jigawa State Government says a recent survey has indicated that 60 per cent of children, under the age of five, in the state are stunted because of acute malnutrition.
Dr Kabir Ibrahim-Aliyu, the Executive Secretary, Jigawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency, made this known at an advocacy meeting in Kano on Thursday.
The meeting was organised by the Jigawa State Government, in collaboration with Aisha Buhari Foundation, for the 27 local government chairmen in the state and other stakeholders on nutrition issues.
Ibrahim-Aliyu said that in spite of the state government’s commitment to tackling the issue of malnutrition, the high number of malnourished children in Jigawa was still alarming.
Stunting is the impaired growth and development, which children experience as a result of poor nutrition, repeated infections and inadequate psycho-social stimulation.
Ibrahim-Aliyu said: “In the past three years, the Jigawa Government committed not less than N300 million, as part of efforts to improve nutrition among children under the age of five years.
“And I want to assure you that we will not relent in our efforts toward tackling malnutrition in the state, especially with the support of the Aisha Buhari Foundation and other supporting agencies.”
The executive secretary, however, noted that there had been appreciable improvement in the management of malnutrition, when compared to what was obtainable 10 years ago, adding that “as time goes on, more improvement can be recorded”.
Alhaji Aminu Sani-Gumel, the Chairman, Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) in Jigawa, said that the council chairmen had been putting in a lot of efforts to check malnutrition.
Sani-Gumel, who is also the Chairman of Gumel Local Government Council, said that each of the council chairmen spent as much as N200,000 every month to tackle the menace of malnutrition across the state.
Earlier, the Project Coordinator, Aisha Buhari Foundation, Mr Omole Ukwedeh, said that the meeting was convened to create more public awareness on the menace of malnutrition.
“The meeting is also to ensure that government efforts in addressing nutrition are highlighted.
“Besides, it is to sensitise the participants to the malnutrition situation in the state and update stakeholders on government efforts toward reducing and managing the menace.
“The meeting will also update the local government chairmen about the Masaki Nutrition Initiative Advocate for the sustainability of local governments’ nutrition funding,” Ukwedeh added.