According to official figures, 3,944 children under the age of five years died between 2010 and 2020 at centres established by the state government across the state for the treatment of acute malnutrition in children. This implies that an average 10 children died from malnutrition daily in the state in the past 10 years.
Medical experts said aside from causing death, the condition also contributes to stunting, low cognitive development and low intelligence quotient (IQ) in children.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how two days after the confirmation of the ‘most transmissible’ delta variant in Nigeria, cases are now consistently on the rise again in the country.
The data was compiled with figures reported by the 67 Community-Based Management of Acute Malnutrition Centres (CMAM Centres) created by the state government and located in 15 of the 27 local government areas of the state.
According to the data, the CMAM centres admitted 836,000 children with malnutrition cases in the decade under review, but 39,155 of the children absconded from the centres. This indicates that the fatality figures in the state could be higher as deaths from the condition occurring outside the centres were not reported.
According to the data, more deaths were recorded at the centres in 2015 and 2016 than in any other year within the period, with 628 and 811 fatalities reported respectively.
The data shows that in 2010, there were 92 fatalities, 244 in 2011 and 503 in 2012. In 2013, the centres recorded 558 fatalities, 419 in 2014 and 628 in 2015.
In 2016, the number skyrocketed to 811 deaths but declined in 2017 to 170; 274 in 2018; 164 in 2019 and 76 in 2020.
Within the period, the CMAM centres successfully treated 363,601 cases with ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF), according to the official data updated on October 7, 2020.
Children are diagnosed for malnutrition at the centres by measuring the circumference of their mid-upper arms with a tape.
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