By Femi Bolaji
The United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, has said 34’419 children between the ages of 0 and 5 years are currently battling Severe Acute Malnutrition, SAM, in Taraba state.
The Chief of UNICEF Field Office, Bauchi, Bhanu Pathak who disclosed this to Governor Darius Ishaku during a courtesy call in Jalingo, said prompt action is needed from Taraba governnent to salvage the affected children from their predicament.
He said ” currently Taraba state has an estimated 34’419 Severe Acute Malnutrition, SAM, cases and with no health facility providing treatment, these children will be at risk of dying if the government does not intervene appropriately and timely.
“Many children who might survive malnutrition in early life are condemned to permanent, physical and intellectual disabilities later in life, thus , productivity of the future leaders of the state will be adversely affected.”
He further assured the governor that UNICEF will continue to provide technical support for Taraba state in the area of Nutrition, Education, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Child Protection among others.
He further explained that in four years, UNICEF has supported Taraba state government with N1.3 bn for various interventions in the state’s health sector.
Governor Ishaku who expressed delight with the support given the state by UNICEF and other Donor agencies, pledged to continue with the prompt payment of counterpart funds to address various challenges affecting children, women and vulnerable.
According to him, ” this administration since 2015 has given much priority to the health sector, as well as the welfare of children and women, so I implore you to go round and see for yourself what we have done in the state.”