From Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe
Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has assured that his administration will spare no effort in ensuring children are feed with the best nutritious food thereby ending malnutrition among children in the state.
The Governor who unveiled 30, 000 cartons of complementary feeding for management of malnourished children gave the assurance in a remark shortly after he was named the “Nutrition Champion for the Nigerian Child” by the International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH).
According to the group, the award was in recognition of his administration’s disposition towards tackling the menace of malnutrition among children and to further, spore him to do more in the fight against Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and the moderately malnourished children in the state.
Governor Yahaya noted that despite the human and natural resources that his state is blessed with, the incidences of malnutrition among children still persists to an extent that the state was classified as having a high degree of malnourished children in the country.
He said: “We have a lot of food products that we produce locally but somehow somewhere, the state failed to utilize them properly for the benefit of the children. So I became Governor I realized that we are still so backward on the issue and I took it upon myself to relate with development partners and agencies like yours in order to achieve the objective of giving proper nutrition to our children”.
The governor explained that his administration has partnered with UNICEF to provide nutritious food to children through the timely payment of counterpart funding.
According to him, “But above all, the important thing we did was to try and do these things on our own because we cannot continue to rely on the support we get from development partners and I directed the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation to find some means of having a direct relationship with the institute of Agricultural Research at ABU Zaria so that we can now develop and continue to produce on our own develop a formula and continue to produce on our own for the benefit of the children”.
The governor stated haven secured the certification from NAFDAC on the direct production of the locally made Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), over N30 million was committed for the production of the food which has been distributed to various units within the Local Government Areas.
He added that the initiative is working and will be a permanent solution to malnutrition in the State. The governor noted that all the basic materials such as soya beans, maize, groundnuts, sesame required for the complimentary food are available in the State.
He said: “We have gotten the formula and the Technology Incubation Centre in Gombe has provided the basic machines required in order to continuously produce and I believe going forward Gombe will come to be listed out of those states that have the issues of malnutrition”.
The governor commended ISMPH for supporting and encouraging his administration, adding that the government will continue to coordinate with relevant agencies and bodies both within and outside the state to achieve fit in chasing out the menace from the country.
During the event which was held via zoom on Wednesday, a group of Journalists, Media and Civil Society Organizations from Abuja, Bauchi, Katsina, Kano, and Gombe were also commended and presented with a Certificate of Excellence for standing against malnutrition in the country.