The Permanent Secretary in the Gombe State Ministry of Economic Planning, Mr. Stephen Ayuba has stated that the State Government has to prevent and treat cases of malnutrition at the same time if it wants to win the war against malnutrition.
The Perm-Sec who spoke on behalf of his Commissioner during an advocacy visit paid to the Ministry by Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), said the Gombe State Government is very much aware of the reality of the cases in the State.
According to him, the State Government had long come to the realization of the situation in the State but stressed that the Government and other partners must come together with a two pronged approach of prevention and treatment of existing cases.
He said the negative statistics in the State was already a big challenge to the State Government. He therefore expressed belief that collaboration with stakeholders in confronting the challenge will go a long way in winning the war.
He said Government had been partnering with organizations such as UNICEF, Save the Children International among many others as well as releasing counterpart funds in that direction adding that a memo is currently with the State Executive Council aimed at strengthening the activities of nutrition in the State.
Earlier, the Gombe State Coordinator of CS-SUNN, Mrs. Comfort Mukollo Ali stated that the purpose of the visit was to partner with the Ministry in the area of food and nutrition, a situation that is calling for adequate resource allocation and timely release and mapping out of a clear road map with roles and responsibilities for the various stakeholders.
She said areas of partnership include creating implementable milestones for mainstreaming nutrition in key ministries, agencies and departments of Government as well as strategies for scaling up nutrition in public spheres including communities.
In her words, “according to the 2017 MIC’s report, 32.5 percent was the stunting rate in Gombe State. To remain on track to achieve SDG’s two (2) in 2030, Gombe State needs to reduce stunting rates to 13 percent by 2025. UNICEF in their recent report, shows that the North is worst hit as millions of children are malnourished”.