The malnutrition intervention is targeted at 115,112 children, 128, 925 adolescents and 23,022 women in the North East Region. The ready-to-use therapeutic food does not require preparation and is designed specifically to treat severe acute malnutrition.
Described as a life saver, the essential food supplies are to be administered by health institutions. The donation was funded by the Chinese government through a $1 million China-UNICEF cooperation against COVID-19 and through China’s South-South Cooperation Assistant Fund.
The food is an energy-dense, mineral and vitamin enriched food that does not need to be cooked before consumption. The UNICEF Country Representative commended the government for its determined efforts to address under nutrition and child and maternal mortality in the country.
He said children in regions with pre-existing health and nutrition challenges, were likely to suffer most. The supplies are departing today for distribution among 132 health institutions across the North-East Region. “The team at UNICEF is proud to have undertaken this important initiative and is committed to delivering results that will contribute to joint efforts by the government, DPs and the UN,” said UNiceF.
The prevalence of malnutrition in the North East Region was already high and with the lean season approaching, the people were only left with grains and cereals for replanting. Dr Kofi Issah said the life-saving ready-to-use therapeutic food would help make up for the nutritional needs of children.
He said a nation’s development depended on a healthy and productive workforce whereas the health of its population was hinged on nutrition.