COVID-19-19 Aftermath: Cross River Govt Begins Rescue of malnourished Children In Rural communities
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that led to a total lockdown of the whole country/world, the aftermath impact on lives and livelihoods is beginning to say as most households are unable to feed themselves properly or seek health care due to poverty, hunger and lack of resources, resulting in more extreme forms of malnutrition in communities. In the continuation of the Maternal, Newborn and Children Health (MNCH) week, Health Commissioner Dr Betta Edu has begun to go to remote communities with the Nutrition Task Force to look for these chronically malnourished children as part of the monitoring/surveillance process as our children remain a government priority.
In an attempt to address this problem, the Cross River State Government has launched a task force for nutrition monitoring of severe malnutrition in remote communities, led by State Health Commissioner Dr Betta Edu, whose role is to go around monitoring and surveillance to identify affected children in communities. “We face an unusual situation in the state and as such, no stone will be left unturned by the government of Sen Prof Ben Ayade until such children are located and given proper medical treatment and attention.”
The state government is also trying to create more educational opportunities for young people to become employed. “We will not only protect lives during this COVID-19 pandemic, in the Governor’s words, but we must work intentionally to protect livelihoods”
We have found more than five Marasmus cases today and we will continue to look for more when dealing with these cases. By attracting attention to such kids from the states, you can play a great role. This is a wake-up call for the partners of Our Development working in the field of Child and Nutritional Health to do more to promote government
Marasmus is a form of malnutrition that occurs when there is a low intake of nutrients and energy, resulting in weight, fat and muscles being lost by the child. As a state, we can not remember when we last had such cases because our people have easy access to foods containing carbohydrates and protein etc.
These children, born in November 2018 and February 2019 respectively, Sylvester Offiong and Emmanuel Sunday Akpan, never had any medical care or care due to the lack of funds as determined by both mothers. The Ayade Care Insurance Scheme, which is more like a social scheme, will help these groups of families access free of charge medical care.
We also had Shedrack Joseph and Isaac Joseph who are also suffering from marasmic- Kwashiorkor they too were taken to General Hospital Calabar without any charges for proper medical care/attention and to maintain this, a running business will be given to all the affected mothers to allow them to feed their children and live a comfortable life after GHC treatment is concluded.
On their part, Miss Imabong Sunday and Esther Offiong, Mothers of the Children, who spoke on behalf of others, said they are all unemployed mothers. They thanked Sen State Governor Prof Ben Ayade and Dr Betta Edu, Health Commissioner, for coming to their rescue as all hope was lost.
The state government calls on the partners of the federal government and development to support the state with more useful health interventions and basic resources aimed at these health challenges in communities, particularly as the impact of the lockdown of COVID-19 is beginning to tell our people and many people need assistance. Dr Edu supported all families with rice bags, toiletries and cash donations as the search continues.