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Economic Downturn Causing Increase In Child Malnutrition – Nutritionist

Economic Downturn Causing Increase In Child Malnutrition – Nutritionist

By Ayuba Maffi

The increasing rate of child malnutrition has been attributed to the current economic challenges affecting many households in Bauchi state.

A Nutritionist at the Kofar Ran Primary Health Care Centre in Bauchi metropolis, Rahila Idi Umar made this known in an interview with our Correspondent yesterday.

According to her, despite the effort of the state government towards the provision of quality health care services to the citizens, poverty among households is retarding the health of the children due to lack of good food which they cannot afford.

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She further blamed the increase in child malnutrition on hardship occasioned by the high cost of essential commodities in the market.

“Malnutrition is cause by hunger, because if a woman didn’t get enough and good food to eat, the child will be affected by malnutrition which is very bad”, the nutrition expert stressed.

Rahila Umar further lamented that malnourished children are increasing in number, noting that if not tackled, the scourge will affect more children in future, thereby shattering the future of generations to come.

She said, that in the past, health personnel in primary health care used to contribute money to buy food and distribute it to breastfeeding mothers to eat and to give their children so that both of them look good and fresh.

Umar added that many less privileged mothers encounter challenges of inadequate food while breastfeeding their babies which affects the children negatively.

She advised couples to be enduring and be given a space of two years before giving birth to another child which she opined, will assist the mother and the child greatly.

She said some women are breastfeeding their babies while carrying another pregnancy at the same time which according to her, is not good for their health.

Rahila Umar appealed to governments at various levels to provide cash incentives and food to less privileged women while breastfeeding their babies exclusively for six months to reduce malnutrition.

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On her part, a mother of twins Maimuna Sale who spoke to our Correspondent at the Primary Health Care Centre, calls for proper awareness of malnutrition.

According to her, inadequate information about how to source affordable nutritious food for children is also a factor that increases malnutrition.

Maimuna who added that lack of good food is making her not to breastfeed the children very well, said she is not finding it easy to breastfeed the twins, especially at this critical economic condition.