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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Japan Donates $600,000 To End Malnutrition In The North-East States In Nigeria

The new grant will aid in the early detection and prompt treatment of children suffering from acute malnutrition and build a strong network of community nutrition responders

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Justina Asishana
Justina Asishana
Justina Asishana is a Nigerian from Edo state. She is a data and investigative journalist who also fact-checks. She covers health, agriculture, education and governance

NIGERIA: About $600,000 has been donated by Japan to end malnutrition in two North-Eastern states in Nigeria.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) disclosed this in a statement on the 29th of March.

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The two states are Borno and Yobe states.

The Chargé d’ Affaires at the Embassy of Japan in Nigeria, Mr Shinozawa Takayuki in the statement said that the fund is being given to the two states because they are not only suffering from insecurity but other life-threatening situations.

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 “We are deeply concerned that children in north-east Nigeria are not only suffering the direct effects of conflict but they are also suffering from other life-threatening consequences like malnutrition. The children’s situation worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We hope that with these funds, we can support UNICEF and Nigerian families and communities to ensure life-saving nutrition so that children can survive and thrive,” Takayuki stated.

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Purpose of the Fund

According to UNICEF, the fund would cater towards addressing malnutrition in these two states for a year.

Sections, where the funds would address, include boosting community-based food production, the detection, referral and monitoring of children with severe acute malnutrition in Borno and Yobe

Under the period, three million conflict-affected children in north-east Nigeria will be screened for severe acute malnutrition.

The fund will also train 50,000 pregnant and lactating women and other caregivers on how to store and cook affordable food for themselves and their children and they will also be trained how to monitor their child’s nutritional status at home.

The statement decried that children with severe acute malnutrition are at a significantly higher risk of death as compared to well-nourished children.

Survey on Malnutrition in Borno and Yobe States

According to the statement, a recent survey found that malnutrition rates in children 6 to 59 months are as high as 10 per cent in Borno State and 12.3 per cent in Yobe State.

These statistics are above the five per cent threshold globally recognised to be of public health significance.

The statistics reflected that with the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant loss of livelihoods and food insecurity, thousands more children could be at risk of malnutrition-related death or stunting in the North East region this year.

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