The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday said it had spent N12 billion to treat 1.1 million Nigerian severely malnourished children between 2009 and 2015.
The UNICEF Nutrition Specialist from Bauchi Field Office, Mr Rashid Abdulai, made the disclosure at a Zonal Advocacy Meeting on management of severe acute malnutrition in Dutse.
Abdulai explained that the money was expended only on procurement of drugs and other nutrients for malnourished children and excluded the technical assistance rendered by the fund.
According to him, UNICEF Bauchi Zonal Office was currently working in 13 local governments of Adamawa State where 42,000 malnourished children are.
He said that in three local governments in Gombe, 27,000 children were affected by malnutrition as well as 44,000 children in three local government of Bauchi State.
The nutrition specialist said that 34, 000 children were malnourished in 12 local government of Jigawa.
Abdulai also disclosed that 1.7 million Nigerian children were severely malnourished out of 17.3 million affected in the world.
He noted that lack of awareness was the greatest challenge in the treatment of malnutrition.
He added that problems with service delivery as well as distance of centres where such treatments were taking place were far from the reach of people.
Abdulai urged government at all levels to key into providing remedy and treatment to malnourished children as the cost of the programme was high for only UNICEF to cover the whole country.