A coalition on Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have called on the federal government to include the procurement of Ready to Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTFs) in the Covid-19 national and states humanitarian and disaster response.
RUTFs are used for the treatment of children with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).
International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH)
and the SAM Consortium made the appeal in statement on behalf of the very vulnerable Nigerian children suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), an estimated 2 million children in Nigeria suffer from SAM, however, only two out of every 10 children affected is currently reached with treatment.
It also disclosed that 7 percent of women of childbearing age also suffer from acute malnutrition.
In a statement which was made available to ExpressDay in Abuja, the group said: “COVID-19 is shaking the world – and our nation along with it. It is undoubtedly here with us in Nigeria.
“Our nation along with others is battling this pandemic and every focus is on it and its devastation on populations around the world – especially the vulnerable groups – the old, the sick and infirm.
“We appeal to our governments at all levels; we are Nigerian children. We live in this nation. We live with Severe Acute Malnutrition and we are vulnerable too!
“We live in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps all over Nigeria, we live in vulnerable households, we live in very low income households, we live in insurgency afflicted areas, we live with beggar and the homeless communities, we are everywhere in your midst!
“COVID-19 or not, we have to live too – even with our pre-existing conditions of SAM!”
While appealing to governments at all levels not to forget children with severe acute malnutrition, the group said: “Do not forget us, we are part of Nigeria!
“Please make provision for our RUTF to improve our survivability – more so in these pandemic times.
“We are part of you. We are tomorrow, if you care for us today, we are your future. Please care for us today, put our RUTF in our national and state level COVID-19 humanitarian and disaster response.”