The Ebonyi government through its Ministry of Health says it is presently treating acute malnutrition of over 800 children in the state.
This was disclosed on Friday by the Nutrition Officer in the ministry, Mr Cyprain Ogbonna while interacting with newsmen on the development in Abakaliki.
Ogbonna said that the figure were children selected across various communities and those who before the intervention battled with the scourge.
He said that a trained team at Maternal and Child Health (MCH), Onueke Health Center in Ezza South Local Government Area of the state, reviewed a case of a 59-months-old- boy, Master Kelechi Ede facing malnutrition in the state.
In communiqué issued, it was gathered that Ede was among the children facing severe malnutrtion but as a result of effort of the officers working at MCH in Onueke who treated him with a supplement known as Therapeutic foods has bounced back to life.
“Ede represents over 800 children whose lives had been saved while there are still numerous number in a similar condition in the state,” Ogbonna said.
Recall that according to National Nutrition Health Survey (NNHS) in 2018
states that, if nothing is done, no fewer than 20,000 children between the ages of six and 59 months are liable to die annually of malnutrition in the state.
The Nutritionist, while reacting to the report, revealed that the impending nutrition challenge prompted the action of the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) to establish treatment across three zones of the state
“It is based on this report that the Federal Government establishment a program known as Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) so that the danger could be averted,” he said.
According to him, the MCH centers in the three zones of Azuiyiokwu, Onueke and Amaechara in Afikpo respectively were currently treating over 800 malnourished children with therapeutic food.
Ogbonna noted that the trained health workers were in steady harvest of more children from the communities.
He described malnutrition as lack of adequate nourishment that made either adult and children to present skinny and stunted nature. He also attributed one of the causes of malnutrition to parents’ inability to breastfeed their children appropriately and inappropriate complementary feeding.
“Nutrition is a technical area that one needs to be careful but it is quite unfortunate that many do not breast feed their children not knowing that the first milk known as colostrum serves as antibiotics to newborn babies and even suckling eases off placenta after delivery” he said.
He further called for support and partnership to enable the nutrition sector, boost both preventive and curative measures against malnutrition in the state.