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The Federal Ministry of Health has disclosed that over N1.8 billion has been released to tackle, prevent and treat malnutrition in 18 States over the last two years.
Dr Chris Isokpunwu, Head of Nutrition Division, said the ministry in 2017 had an agreement with UNICEF for a supportive contribution towards the availability of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food, RUTF.
He said, the first disbursement was N600 million from the 2017 appropriation bill, the money was used to build up treatment centres, to train health workers and to share RUTF in Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Osun, Bauchi States and the Federal Capital Territory, as well as 12,000 cartons of the RUTF, were also passed across to these states, FCT inclusive.
In 2018 appropriation bill, N1.2 billion was released by the federal government to UNICEF based on the MoU to procure RUTF whereas the ministry now has the opportunity to deliver more of this commodity to 12 more states.
The commodity purchased under the 2018 appropriation bill would be used to assist the initial five states and the FCT.
“We have registered 18 states having serious issues of acute malnutrition and have notified the states via letter to know their interest in addressing this challenge,” he added.
The aim of the ministry in collaboration with UNICEF and other essential bodies was to curb and prevent malnutrition in the country.