From: Ruth Yarnap, Bauchi
Shortage of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food hinders treatment of malnutrition in Bauchi
The Nutrition Officer in one of the Community Based Management of Acute Malnutrition Centers,(CMAM) in Darazo local government area of Bauchi State, Nigeria, Mr Mustapha Yakubu has revealed that the shortage of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUFT) has hindered completion of treatment of patients in the center.
Mr Yakubu said this while speaking to journalists during a field visit to the Center, which was facilitated by a partnership of civil society organizations working on Nutrition in Bauchi which include: Aid Connect for Development, Attah Sisters Helping Hands (ASHH) and Rahma Women Development Program.
According to him, whenever the RUFT was made available, some clients were still not aware of the fact that they needed to resume their treatment. He said that this was one of the challenges encountered – the need to ensure that clients complete their eight weeks dose of the treatment.
He said, “in the past, our registered clients were from 70 to 100 on weekly basis, because the clinic is once in a week,” but noted that because the food was some times out of stock, the number of patients (clients) reduced.
The Nutrition Officer added that, “we tried (to reach) those with contacts and they are back but some have no telephone contact numbers and live in hard to reach areas so they are not coming (back) which is not healthy.
“Because of the non-availability of the food from April to August treatment was affected.”
Mr. Yakubu then acknowledged that the RUFT was at present available and that they are supplied the specialised food based on request by the Center for continuous treatment of malnutrition in the Center.
Speaking on behalf of the mothers in the CMAM Centre, Aisha Garba and Shafau Yunusa said that their babies were becoming stronger and healthier due to uninterrupted use of RUTF for four weeks.
They both commended the state government and development partners for their contributions towards ensuring that babies were fed with nutritional food.