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Thursday, April 9, 2020

COVID-19 Lockdown: 2m Nigerian malnourished children need urgent attention – NaijaAgroNet

With some estimated 2 million children in Nigeria suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), they need an urgent attention especially with the current lockdown in the country, says the Executive Secretary, Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), Mrs Beatrice Eluka, reports NaijaAgroNet.

UNICEF Nigeria recently revealed that some 2 million children in the country have Severe Acute Malnutrition. Just as experts defined SAM Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) as the state caused by a significant imbalance between nutritional intake and individual needs.

Reacting to the state of the world and Nigerian nation in particular over responses to the Chinese Virus-19 also known as Coronavirus or COVID-19 with regards to SAM, Mrs. Eluka told NaijaAgroNet that malnourished children already have compromised immune system that deserve urgent attention.

According to her, any malnourished child is at risk of infections including the ravaging Coronavirus.

Such a child, she pointed out also unlikely to survive “if he is infected” due to several factors including inability to access requisite nutrition food.

She also said that the importance of good nutrition cannot be over-emphasised.

The lockdown, Mrs. Eluaka said has rendered many families food and nutrition insecured.

She, therefore, called on governments at all levels to quickly ensure they have centres where children, mothers and families discovered to have Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) symptoms are singled out for special care and attention.

Eluaka further said that at every SAM cenetre in any state, it is expected that Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) could be freely administered and accessed at ease in line with the ongoing palliative distributions.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that only two out of every 10 children affected by SAM is currently reached with treatment, according the UNICEF office in Nigeria, just as Seven per cent of women of childbearing age also suffer from acute malnutrition.

Remmy Nweke/DoP


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