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Jigawa Govt Partners UNICEF, Donates N500m RUTF to Combat Child Malnutrition

The Jigawa State Government has handed over more than 12,400 cartons of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) to UNICEF, valued at approximately N500 million.

Hajiya Zainab Rabo Ringim, Senior Special Assistant on Media Affairs to the Governor of Jigawa State, in a press statement on Tuesday said the initiative aims to treat severe wasting among malnourished children in the state.

She explained that the procurement of the RUTF was facilitated through a Matching Fund arrangement between the Jigawa State Government and UNICEF’s Child Health Grant, with both parties contributing equally.

Governor Umar Namadi, during a meeting with UNICEF Country Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Cristian Munduate, highlighted the importance of this partnership. He also took the opportunity to inaugurate the revitalization of 30 Primary Healthcare Facilities across the state’s constituencies.

The governor emphasized the urgency of the RUTF delivery, noting that the product was nearly out of stock in over 70 Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) Centers across the state.

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“This intervention aligns with our commitment to address concerns highlighted in the Situation Analysis of Children in Jigawa, particularly regarding nutrition security amidst unfavorable statistics on child wasting and stunting.”

Reaffirming his administration’s dedication, Governor Namadi stated, “We are committed to sustaining and improving all ongoing nutrition programs, including our collaboration with UNICEF, to ensure that no child in Jigawa experiences hunger and malnutrition.”

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Hajiya Zainab Rabo Ringim quoted the governor, saying, “The biggest tragedy for a child is to suffer malnutrition at a formative stage, as its consequences are irreversible. With hampered cognitive capacity, a child is prevented from reaching their full potential.”

The governor also expressed his commitment to the Masaki Nutrition Program, which leverages locally available recipes to improve child nutrition.

“UNICEF has been our most consistent development partner, supporting various areas such as health, nutrition, education, water, sanitation, hygiene, and social protection for over three decades.”

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Ms. Cristian Munduate, in her address, thanked the Jigawa State Government for the partnership and reiterated UNICEF’s commitment to supporting the state’s development.

She noted her visit was to witness the strides made in the health sector under Governor Namadi’s leadership and to oversee the distribution of the RUTF.

This collaboration underscores the crucial role of partnerships in tackling malnutrition and enhancing child health and development in Jigawa State.

However, WikkiTimes reports that UNICEF had revealed that over 600,000 under five years old children in Jigawa State are stunted and in need of therapeutic feeding and care due to malnutrition despite the state’s N250 million contribution to the not-for-profit organisation.

The state government said there are 300 hundred sites where demonstrations on complementary feeding made from homegrown foods are done once every week across the state to reduce malnutrition among children.

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