Gombe State is among eight others in the country that will secure a World Bank Loan to address malnutrition among their citizens.
Already, the state government has concluded plans to re-activate all nutrition clinics in all government health facilities in the state beginning with the state’s specialist hospital, which only needs a boost.
Kennedy Ishaya, the Commissioner for Health, stated this during a courtesy visit to him by the state chapter of Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN).
According to the commissioner, with the growing indices of malnutrition in the country, coupled with crises in the North East and North Central (Nigeria’s food basket), there is looming danger of food crises next year, if urgent steps are not taken to address the conflicts capable of negatively affecting food production.
He said an office had already been set up to that effect, and that a project manager who would also serve as the state’s focal person to be appointed soon.
“Nigeria’s case is not that there is no food, but ignorance or lack of knowledge on the correct mix to the abundant food available in the country,” Kennedy stated.
Expressing gratitude for the awareness being created by CS-SUNN in Gombe, he assured that the ministry would look into the issue closely and work with the organisation to address malnutrition.
Earlier in her address, Mrs. Comfort Ali, the state coordinator of CS-SUNN, said the organisation was pursuing its goal by engaging government and non-state actors to raise awareness, sustain commitment and actions to effectively tackle under-nutrition in Nigeria.
“Our visit is to familiarise our network with your ministry, with the aim of looking at possible areas of collaboration and partnership in addressing nutrition challenges among the populace, especially the vulnerable groups,” she emphasised.
The team also vised the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and was received by Suleiman Ibrahim, the permanent secretary.
The ministry also pledged its readiness to partner with the organisation as soon as it is availed of the types of programmes and the roles the ministry could play.