FIVE out of every 10 children in Jigawa State face the risk of poor brain and internal organs development according to a recent report by the United Nations Children Education Funds (Unicef).
Bhanu Pathak, the chief of Unicef’s Nigerian field office, revealed this at a advocacy and capacity building workshop for Jigawa State House of Assembly legislators held in Kano, over the weekend. Represented by a nutritionist specialist of the Bauchi field office, Philomena Irene, he added that a Smart Survey revealed that Jigawa is still one of the states that has a stunting growth rate in the country with a -54% rate.
Mr Pathak said: “In every 10 children in Jigawa State, five of them are in a danger of poor brain and internal organs development which are critical for the future productivity of individuals and for the economic competitiveness of the state.”
Ms Irene pointed out that although the state is recording a tremendous success in fighting the menace from 63.10% to 54.10%, more needed to be done to address the problems. She identified negligence and lack of care for the children during childhood and adolescence as some of the reasons that complicates the health and nutritional status of the individual.
Furthermore, she added that investing in the early years is one of the smartest investments a state can make to break the cycle of poverty, address inequality and boost productivity later in life. In addition, she urged the legislatures to track the release and implementation of the allocated budget for health and nutrition in the 2019 budget.