Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse
Bauchi Chief Field Officer of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Mr. Bhanu Pathak, who was represented by the UNICEF’s Nutrition Specialist, Philomena Irene said, cases of stunted children in Jigawa State reached an alarming propotion of 54 percent, which means in every 10 children, five are stunted.
Pathak revealed this at a two-day capacity building workshop for members of the House of Assembly, yesterday.
He said: “Recent smart survey revealed that Jigawa state still has a stunting rate of 54 percent, which means in every 10 children, at least five of them are in a danger of poor brain and internal organs development,” she said.
UNICEF insisted that about half of child mortality in Nigeria is attributable to malnutrition, and has promised to continue to partner with Jigawa state government for a better future and survival of children of the state. Jigawa health sector has advocated for provision of at least one midwife per every polling unit across the state.
On his part, Executive secretary of Primary Health Care in the state, Dr. Kabir Ibrahim, said “a single midwife in every polling unit could eliminate maternal and infant mortality in the state” and pointed out that Jigawa has, for a long time, been at a disadvantaged situation of high rate of infant and maternal mortality.
He added: “If a trained midwife is put in place in these polling units, the negative and avoidable aspect could be reduced or eradicated from the state. Since we cannot change these women’s orientation that has religious and traditional beliefs then we must empower these midwives with the prerequisite knowledge of attending to expecting mothers”, he declared.
The Deputy Speaker, Alhaji Sulaiman Musa Kagara, who confessed that cases of malnutrition bedevilling children need an urgent attention in the state, assured that all bills on health, pending in the House, would receive speedy attention while more funds would be apropriated to tackle the menace. He added that if there is improvement in the nutrition of pregnant women, their infants would ensure sustainable future of the youths of Jigawa state.