New Approach To Combating Severe Malnutrition In Children In Cross River Attracts International Attention


Governor Ben Ayade’s desire to see his people, especially young growing children, remain healthy and alive has taken a new form, as the State Governor Sen Prof Ben Ayade, through his workaholic Health Commissioner Dr Betta Edu, has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to ensuring that no child in the State dies of malnutrition, and in order to make this a reality, the Honorable Commissioner for HHS has enlisted the help of the Honorable Commissioner for HHS, who


The successful search strategy in Cross River state has so far resulted in the discovery of over 234 chronically malnourished children living in remote areas of the state as well as the capital. Dr. Edu, who took the BBC on a tour of the state, informed them of the State Government’s support and quick interventions that have so far saved the lives of so many children. In order to continue doing more, the Governor has directed that all children who are victims of this be given free medical assistance/attention while their families are supported to sustain the care.

“Children’s severe malnutrition is a major problem that must be addressed in order to save lives. The majority of the time, this is due to ignorance. The family does not know how to adequately feed the children using the locally available food from the farm and river. We should have no business with extreme malnutrition in Cross River State because we are blessed with food. Some are caused by diseases in infants, such as HIV. As a result, we must put an end to HIV transmission from mother to child!

The health team took it upon themselves to comb the nooks and crannies of the entire State in search of these children, and during the first and second phases of this exercise, we were able to save over 120 malnourished children who were given proper medical attention, support, and care, and the good news is that the majority of them are now well and living a healthier life.

With over 200 communities visited, Dr. Edu discovered that another explanation for the rise in chronically malnourished children is the COVID-19 lockdown, which culminated in parents losing their jobs because they couldn’t feed their children. She claims that ignorance is another factor contributing to this trend, as most parents are unaware of basic foods such as fresh vegetables, fish, periwinkle, and other nutritious foods that could be offered to their children, instead opting for tasteless juice, biscuits, and custard. Other factors include cultural/religious beliefs, government policies, and the country’s poor economy. The health boss has assured Cross Riverians that Sen Prof Ben Ayade’s government will continue to engage in community engagement/sensitization and work with communities to build a resilient health system to help address this threat.

The parents of the children, who were mostly single mothers, praised the efforts of State Governor Sen Prof Ben Ayade, who has given them hope and a reason to smile again through the health commissioner. They expressed gratitude to Dr Betta Edu for her efforts, support, love, and care, which have resulted in the recovery of over 145 children.

Unyime Monday, a resident of Old Odukpani village, a mother of five and Martina Henshaw, a mother of 4kids and a resident of Egerton who spoke on behalf of the other mothers commended the Health Commissioner for the massive support both financially, morally, medically, and otherwise that has today changed the lives of their kids. “Sen Prof Ben Ayade and Dr Betta Edu are to be commended for going out of their way to find us in our homes and offer us help. She’s indeed a mother. today our children can get medical care and even food to eat, not only that.

Jesam Esua, Torsam Esua, Obasesam Esua (triplets) all a year and 7 months old, Grace and Marvelous Henshaw twins of 3 months old, ThankGod Francis Elemi 3yrs old, Shedrack Joseph 1yr old, Isaac Joseph 1yr old, Emmanuel Sunday, Offiong Sylvester and many other kids have been Discovered and are accessing medical care now.

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