From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
No fewer than 3, 522 children have died of malnutrition in Borno State between January 2017 and July 2021, with 239 of the deaths recorded between January and July, 2021.
Deputy Director, Borno State Nutrition Officer, Abdullahi Madi, who provided the data at a media dialogue on child malnutrition in Maiduguri, Borno State, said the situation was beginning to improve, but demanded that the momentum be sustained.
UNICEF Nutrition Specialist, Ifeanyi Maduanusi, in his presentation expressed the hope that malnutrition situation would improve if additional funding is provided by the state and other donor agencies for the intervention.
Also UNICEF Chief of Field in Maiduguri, Borno State, Samuel Sesay, said years of insurgency that led to destruction of communities and displacement of people, and other factors contributed to the devastating state of malnutrition in the North East.
The data jointly provided by the state and UN agencies showed that between January 2017 to July 2021, 3, 522 children died of malnutrition in the state, 849, 148 children admitted for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) while 737, 826 were cured of malnutrition within the five-year period.
A breakdown of the data showed that in 2017, 216, 639 children were admitted for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), 153,846 cured, while unfortunately, 731 children died of malnutrition complications.
In 2018, the figure of children that suffered SAM rose to 256,639; while 247, 491 were cured; 654 died; 13,599 defaulted in treatment, and 3,552 children couldn’t recover.
In 2019, 150, 422 suffered from SAM; 138, 241 cured; 1,877 couldn’t recover; 6,399 defaulted in treatment and unfortunately, 544 died.
In 2020, 140, 349 SAM cases were reported; 130,855 cured; 3,233 couldn’t recover; 5,922 defaulted in treatment and 1,354 children died.
In 2021, 85, 027 children suffered SAM; 67,393 cured; 1,664 defaulted in treatment; 574 couldn’t recover, while 239 children died of malnutrition.
Sesay raised the alarm over the state of child malnutrition in the war ravaged North East states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, stressing that the posterity of the region was under serious threat.