Children in three local government areas of Plateau State risk stunting and acute malnutrition if their mothers do not practice exclusive breastfeeding and imbibe the culture of feeding them with balanced meals.
Most children in Jos North, Mangu and Shendam local government areas of the State are said to be facing malnutrition, hence the urgent need for an intervention, to reverse the trend.
Dr. Livinus Miapkwap, Executive Secretary of the State Primary Healthcare Board, said it is already alarming that children many between six (6) to 59 weeks are experiencing stunting, and if the State is not careful, the situation may get to the level of what is obtained in the North East region of the country where children are suffering from acute malnutrition.
Miapkwap spoke during a three-day training organized by the Board in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF on Infant Young Child Feeding (IYCF) for health workers in the three identified local government areas, which is aimed at building their capacity to support community members in ensuring acceptable feeding practices which will boost the health of the children. Charging the participants, he said, “We need to use the opportunity of this intervention on the Plateau, to make positive impact because the children are our future. Statistics show that the rate of stunting is rising in the State and if Plateau is not careful, it may get to an alarming rate.”