Okwe Obi, Abuja
The European Union (EU) has donated €300, 000 (about N102 million) in humanitarian aid to provide life-saving treatment to 280 undernourished children in Sokoto and Zamfara states.
EU Regional Information Officer for North, West and Central Africa European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), Hilaire Avril, made this known in a statement yesterday. Avril said the money would be used for medical care and food supplement for the children, most of them sick and malnourished, and feeling from violence.
Said Avril: “Northwest Nigeria has seen an increase in violence over the last months that has exacerbated the already existing dire nutrition situation. Recurrent clashes have driven people to flee their homes in search of safety. These people leave everything behind, including their fields and their main source of subsistence.
“The funds will allow UNICEF to provide undernourished children and their mothers with immediate nutrition treatment. Furthermore, mobile health teams will be sent out to strengthen the capacity of health facilities in delivering comprehensive basic health care services, including supportive medical supervision
“As many as 280,000 children under five years of age across the states of Sokoto and Zamfara are estimated to be suffering from severe acute malnutrition, which is a life-threating condition,” Avril.
Avril, said children are particularly vulnerable given the low vaccination rates against common childhood illnesses. He said Sokoto and Zamfara states regularly face cholera, yellow fever and meningitis outbreaks, while malaria is endemic and measles is recurrent.
“Mortality rates in such facilities are very high, as medical care is sought late, while many facilities are no longer running and/or are no longer accessible due to increased insecurity,” he said.