Group seeks release of N50m for child nutrition in Gombe


By Hajara Leman
Gombe, Jan. 7, 2020 The Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Coalition has appealed to the Gombe state government to release the outstanding N50 million of the N75 million budgeted for nutrition of children in the state in year 2020.

Alhaji Alhasan Yahya, Chairman of the coalition, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Thursday.

NAN reports that MNCH is a coalition of professionals in diverse fields advocating for improved maternal and child healthcare in the state.

Yahya said that N75 million was approved in the 2020 budget for nutrition in the state, but only N25 million was released for the purchase of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF).

RUTF, also called Plumy nut, is for the treatment of malnourished children.

He said that the number of malnourished children in Gombe was on the increase daily because of the influx of Internally Displaced Persons from Borno State, as a result of the activities of insurgents.

“As a matter of urgency, we want the state government to release the remaining N50 million for the purchase of RUTF.

“Our children are dying as a result of Severe Acute Malnutrition, hence the need for the government to do something.

“We do not have a single RUTF in our stores and hospitals, the lives of our children are in danger;” he said.

Also, Mrs Ronas Amusa, the state Nutrition Officer, Gombe State Primary Health Care Development Agency told NAN that there was scarcity of RUTF in the state.

She said that the alternative now left to the people was to focus on preventive measures to avert malnutrition by using the locally available food within their localities, such as beans, groundnuts and vegetables.