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Kano has highest number of malnourished children in Nigeria – UNICEF

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Tragedy of Nigeria's poverty scourge

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said Kano State has the highest number of malnourished children in the Country.

Chief, UNICEF Nutrition Section in Nigeria, Simeon Nanama, who made the disclosure on Tuesday, said it was the outcome of a survey carried out by it.

Mr Nanama who spoke at a one-day stakeholders meeting organised by UNICEF for the Dissemination of Baseline Survey findings for Dietary Diversity Project, said however, that in terms of proportion, Kano is not the worst affected but accounts for the highest number overall on account of population.

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“In terms of the proportion of children affected, Kano is not the state with the highest number of malnourished children, but because of its large population, it is leading other states,’’ he said.

He said the stakeholders meeting was to discuss the findings of the survey which was conducted in selected local government areas of the state.

He added that the meeting, which was called to disseminate findings of the survey which covered the nutritional status of the children and what they eat, would also look into re-accessing UNICEF’s intervention across the state.

According to Mr Nanama, the meeting also aimed at promoting the consumption of diversified food and also to work assiduously for the implementation of the UNICEF guidelines on nutrition, agriculture and others.

He said Bichi and Sumaila local government areas were the areas most affected by the issue of malnourished children as observed in the 2018 Survey.

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Kano State Ministry of Health, Bala Mohammed, said the meeting would ensure sensitisation of the public on the appropriate food for children.

Mr Mohammed was represented by Tijjani Hussaini, Executive Secretary, Kano State Primary Health Care Management Board (SPHCMB).

He said the state government is doing all within its powers to provide necessary support in enlightening the public, especially pregnant women from the ante-natal stage.

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The Permanent Secretary, Kano State Bureau of Statistics, Baballe Ammani, called for deeper collaboration between the bureau and UNICEF in ensuring reliable figures from such surveys.

He said conducting the survey in selected local government areas does not prove that the remaining areas have the same challenges.

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