By Auwal Ahmad
Members of Gombe state House of Assembly have decried what they described as “the extremely malnourished state of children in the state,” saying the situation should be addressed with utmost urgency.
The members gave their impression during a facility tour of community management acute malnutrition sites in Tudun-Wada Maternity in the state capital, after attending a two day workshop on capacity development on universal health coverage, organised by the United Nations Children Funds (UNICEF), Wednesday.
Some of the lawmakers spoke in anger and frustration over the recurring evidences of malnutrition faced at the Community Management Acute Malnutrition sites, despite the interventions of international donor agencies.
Chairman, Information Committee of the House, Amos Fabulous, said “The donors should just pack-up and go so that when the reality dawns on us, we will face the situation squarely.”
He said malnutrition has only been addressed with palliative measures rather than addressing the main issue head-on.
A particular case of an Internally Displaced Person (IDP) and her 13-month-old child drew the attention of the entire entourage on the visit.
It was gathered that the woman who had been in Gombe for the past one year, had escorted a friend who wanted medication for her child but unknown to her, her child was severely malnourished, as he weighed only 5.1 kg, pale and needed immediate attention; and was referred to the Specialist Hospital for stabilisation.
There are four community management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) sites in Gombe where serious advocacy by civil society groups have been going on, raising the voice for scaling up efforts to address the situation.