UN Predicts 300,000 Nigerian Children May Die of Malnutrition In 2021

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UN Predicts 300,000 Nigerian Children May Die of Malnutrition In 2021
UN Predicts 300,000 Nigerian Children May Die of Malnutrition In 2021

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has predicted that acute malnutrition may kill about 300,000 children in the north-eastern part of Nigeria in 2021.

UNICEF confirmed this in a statement, on Friday.

“In North-East Nigeria, more than 800,000 children are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021, including nearly 300,000 with severe acute malnutrition who are at imminent risk of death,” the  statement partly read.

UNICEF also noted that cases of malnutrition among children were critical in the North-West region, with states like Kebbi experiencing a 66 per cent malnutrition rate.

“In Sokoto State, also in Nigeria’s North-West, close to 18 per cent of children suffer from wasting and 6.5 per cent suffer from severe wasting,” UNICEF said.

UNICEF predicted that African countries, including Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central Sahel, South Sudan and Yemen, could see an estimated 10.4 million children suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021.

“For countries reeling from the consequences of conflicts, disasters and climate change, COVID-19 has turned a nutrition crisis into an imminent catastrophe,” the Executive Director of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore said.

Read also: Zambia Health Authorities Launch Massive Cholera Vaccination

The agency pointed out that there was work to be done in Nigeria in order to boost the life expectancy of Nigerian children.

Currently, the life expectancy in Nigeria is estimated at 62.8 years, while the global average is 84 years.

“These figures, while difficult to contemplate, are estimates and not predetermined – there are many things we can do to improve the fate of those children born today in Nigeria. We can and must work to change the underlying factors that can improve the life expectancy of Nigerian children,” the acting UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Renu Wadhwa, said.

In related news, Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, presented a letter to the Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), pleaded for food for 800,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) across 11 towns in the state.

Subsequently, the Governor received assurance that the IDPs will get the support they need.

 

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