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Malnutrition killing Katsina children over councils’ ‘refusal’ to release funds

Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) has killed many children in Katsina state due to non-release of nutrition support funds by some local governments, according to Save the Children, a non-governmental organisation (NGO).

Nura Muhammad, the NGO’s area operations manager, said this in an interview with NAN.

He said Save the Children and UNICEF support children with malnutrition in 109 Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) centres in 15 local government areas of the state.

Muhammad revealed that each of the benefiting local government was expected to contribute N250,000 for the purchase of drugs to children with SAM complications monthly.

He explained that a malnourished child with other sickness would be admitted at a CMAM centre to cure that particular ailment first for three-to-five days.

According to him, the child would then be given the Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) for eight to 12 weeks depending on weight of the child.

“If a child is sick and malnourished, it is hard for him to take food, so, we try to cure his ailment before giving him the RUTF,” he said.

“We do not have drugs for such children; we only give them RUTF.

“However, since July 2016, no money has been released by any of the 15 local councils for that project; consequently, many children have died because of the non-release of the funds.”

Katsina is rated the second with highest number of malnourished children in the north-west zone.

The malnutrition programme was introduced in 2010 and 318,689 children have so far been treated in the state.