Fred Ezeh, Abuja
United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), on Thursday, confirmed that Kano and Katsina states account for over 30 percent of children affected with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in Nigeria.
Both states are among the states in Nigeria with high population. Katsina has produced twin Nigerian presidents and Kano prides itself as Nigeria’s center of commerce.
The UN children agency said it was saddened that both states are not among the epicenter of Boko Haram activities like the three northeast states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, but have high number of SAM affected children.
Its 2018 Nigeria Nutrition Health Survey (NNHS) revealed that over 2.6 million children under the age of five, are threatened by SAM and three north east states, regrettably, accounted for larger percentage of the children.
The report revealed that one in two children in north east and north west are stunted while one in five children in the south face the same challenge of stunting.
UNICEF Nutrition Expert, Dr. Bamidele Omotola, told our correspondent that the situation has assumed national emergency status that could portend huge danger to the health of future generation if not properly addressed.
He insisted that government, community and religious leaders and must rise to salvage the posterity of northern children.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom government through its agency responsible for administering foreign aid, the Department for International Development (DFID), said it contributed to the procurement of over 200, 000 cartons of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) to carter for 240, 000 children being affected with SAM.
Its Nutrition Officer, Dr. Martin Jackson, said the intervention brought life to few of the affected children. He suggested that double of such intervention is required to urgently protect the lives of children.