By Ogalah Ibrahim
The United Nations Children Funds (UNICEF) has called for the urgent treatment of over 245,000 children said to be suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in Katsina State.
The Chief of UNICEF, Kano Field Office, Mr. Rahama Mohammed Farah made the call on Monday during the launch of a Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) in Katsina
Farah urged the government of the state as well as policymakers to rise up to the occasion by allocating adequate resources for the treatment of the malnourished children so as to help them overcome the trauma and improving the current human development indices in the state.
“Based on the preliminary findings from a recently completed SMART survey across the 34 LGAs of Katsina State, an estimated 245,300 children aged under 5 are suffering from SAM; and need immediate treatment.
“In terms of learning achievement in schools: the MICS 2021 measures the level of foundational numeracy and literacy skills of children between the ages of 7 to 12.
“MICS data shows that the learning achievement situation in Katsina State is still far below the national average. For example, in Katsina State, only 9 per cent of the children assessed, have demonstrated foundational reading skills compared to 26 per cent at the national level.”
However, as part of measures to tackle the menace within the region, Farah stressed that there is need for government to stepup its intervention in tackling poverty by improving its basic social services in the area of health, education, nutrition, social protection, water and sanitation, as well as child rights.
The Kano Field UNICEF Chief also called on the government of the region to ensure that they carefully analyse and review the MICS data, its underlying and contributing root causes in order to tackle the poor human development indicators and implement a better focused and effective strategies to overcome them.
Speaking earlier, Hajiya Nafisa Sani, Director of Primary Healthcare in the state, who represented the State Commissioner for Health, said the state government has done a lot to that regards and will not rest in its oars to see that the issue of Severe Acute Malnutrition is brought under control in the state.