Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe
A lack of volunteers who interface between parents of Severe Acute Malnourished children (SAM) at different communities in Gombe State has continued to endanger the smooth running of the community based management of SAM, which was endorsed by the United Nations (UN) in 2007.
According to a report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the approach, which trained community health workers on early detection of SAM cases and provides Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), a high energy, micronutrient enhanced paste used to treat children affected by SAM under the age of five and to also provide routine medical care, has gotten millions of more children treated and cured globally than with the facility based approach alone.
However, in Gombe State the community based approach is faced with challenges caused by the disappearance of the volunteers who usually visit communities to follow up children on SAM treatment as well as identify possible new cases.
Mohammed Bawa, the Nutrition Officer in Gombe Local Government Area, revealed to journalists that the volunteers disappeared at the Gidan Magani centre when it became obvious that they are not being offered permanent employment despite working for over six months.