International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH) and Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) have called on Kano State government to urgently declare state of emergency on malnutrition in order to avert persistent death of under-5 children in the state.
The Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), at a joint press conference disclosed that Kano records 1.4 million stunted children, lamenting that it is the highest in northern Nigeria.
Speaking at a press conference in Kano on Tuesday, the Executive Director of ISMPH, Moji Makanjuola and her counterpart in CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani, unanimously called on the state accord priority to and avert persistent death of children from preventable long stock-out of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) across Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) facilities in the state.
They also called on the state government to sustain budget line for nutrition and ensure timely releases of funds for procurement of RUTF to every stock-out in distribution across the states.
The CSOs however called on northern state governments to amplify importance to adequate nutrition status through enhanced education and awareness programmes and food security.
They also urged the northern governors to institutionalize appropriate nutrition governance and accountability structure in their respective states to enhance sustainability and accountability for nutrition interventions.
According to them, Nigeria has estimated 2.5 million under-5 children that suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) annually, revealing that “420,000 children under-5 risk early death for common childhood illness such as diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria.”
“We call on northern state governments to prioritize TJE sustainable treatment and prevention of SAM through enhanced support for CMAM in their states. Be proactive in implementing policies, adequate budgetary allocation, timely release of funds, cash backing and utilization of funds and oversight activities,” they said
They unanimously called on the northern state governments to domesticate and efficiently implement Child Right Act to effect adequate nutrition status as a child right.