From Augustine Okezie, Katsina
The Katsina State Government Saturday declared that it has concluded arrangements to procure the supply of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food, RUTF, which has finished from stock since March this year in most Community Management Acute Malnutrition, CMAM, centers located in parts of the State.
The Commissioner for Health, Engineer Yakubu Nuhu Danja, who made the disclosure at a ministerial briefing with correspondents at Government House, Katsina, revealed that the state government has already held meetings with relevant stakeholders including Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center, CISLAC and have forwarded a memo to the Governor on the matter
He said ’’we have already forwarded a memo to his Excellency seeking his approval to procure the RUTF drugs. We know the importance of the drugs especially in the development of a healthy child and ensuring he attends school’’
Investigation by The Nation revealed that the non-availability of the commodity at the centers had thrown many families with malnourished children into miserable condition at this period of Covid19 pandemic.
Also RUTF drugs which was supposed to be distributed free of charge in the state are currently on sale in various shops in the cities of Katsina and Daura.
The COVID-19 Pandemic with its resultant total lockdowns on several parts of Katsina had consequently led to the scarcity of RUTF with various shops and supermarkets being shut down causing an aggravation of the situation
Meanwhile the Commissioner for Health has also disclosed that the state government had earmarked N4.6b to upgrade the various infrastructures and several other projects and programmes to improve on the weak health system inherited from the previous administrations in the state
He further listed such projects to include: the total rehabilitation/upgrading and remodeling of eight (8) general hospitals, the construction of a Specialist Eye Center at General Amadi Rimi Specialist, the renovation and upgrading of state owned health training Institutions including School of Nursing Katsina, School of Midwifery Malumfashi and the Schools of Health Sciences in Kankia and Daura.
He also announced that the State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS has recorded remarkable achievements by ensuring that the state HIV prevalence declined from 1.4% to 0.3% in general population.