The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) had recently disclosed that about 3.4 million people need nutrition in the North-East Nigeria due to food crisis caused by the Boko Haram insurgency.
The report for the month of September stated that UN-OCHA Humanitarian Situation Report disclosed that 2.7 million people were targeted for immediate intervention, adding that only 936,200 people were reached with nutrition support within the period stated. The report reveals that three Stabilization Centres (SC) were established at Damboa, Dikwa and Ngala Local Government Areas to foster management of acute malnutrition. It added that some 60 health personnel were also trained in Borno and Yobe States to enhance operations at the stabilisation centres.
The UN agency maintained that effective modalities were created to streamline the Infant and Young Child Feeding scheme with the Blanket Supplementary Feeding and Emergency Food Distribution programmes to control the scourge. It adds that the UN in conjunction with humanitarian partners had distributed activities in 8 local government areas of Borno State to eradicate malnutrition.
The lists of the affected areas are; Damasak, Ngala, Dikwa, Bama, Gwoza, Kukawa, Kala-Balge, Gubio, Nganzai and Guzamala. “The progress toward key indicators is on track except for the management of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) with medical complications, which remain hampered by the unavailability of services, especially in the newly accessible areas. Lack of access to most areas has been the impediment in providing life-saving nutrition support to those in need. Nutrition activities are limited to few areas where humanitarian actors have access and where healthcare structures are in place,” it stated.
It also indicated that about 6.5 million U.S. dollars were required to implement five projects and ensure a smooth running of the nutrition support services in the affected communities. It disclosed that a maternal and child health week exercise would be conducted to curtail malnutrition in the war-ravaged region. OCHA opined that some of the activities presented for the campaign included supplementation of micro-nutrients deficiency, screening and referral of under-5 children. “The campaign is designed to help children who were not assisted under the routine exercises to achieve its target”, in addition, mobile outreach is critical in the campaign.