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Médecins Sans Frontières set to commence medical aid to malnourished children in Bauchi

By Mohammed kaka Misau, Bauchi

An international medical humanitarian organisation, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has in its efforts curb cases of malnutrition among children, announced that it will establish an inpatient treatment center for children suffering from the disease in Ganjuwa local government area of Bauchi state.

The Organization which is also known as Doctors Without Borders said it will offer support to health authorities in Bauchi state to succeed in carrying out the task.

This was contained in a press release signed and circulated to newsmen in Bauchi by the Field Communication Officer of the NGO, Abdulkareem Yakubu on Wednesday.

According to him, the new project to embark upon by MSF include, a 55-bed inpatient therapeutic feeding centre (ITFC) for the treatment of severely malnourished children with complications in Ganjuwa Local Government Area (LGA).

Abdulkareem Yakubu said, during an assessment exercise, a total of 6,667 children were screened for malnutrition by the MSF teams out of which 14.8 per cent were malnourished and in need of medical care, indicating high needs of nutritional services in the area.

“A limited access to primary healthcare services especially nutritional care for children is a major health concern in Bauchi”, the release quoted MSF Project Coordinator in Bauchi, Francis Dorbo as saying.

According to the release, Dorbor expressed the organization’s delight to extend its support to the health authorities in Bauchi to begin the nutritional services which is one of the key needs in the area pointed out by the MSF screening results.

The release which said that MSF is mindful of the fact that the peak of hunger period is arriving which might worsen the situation, hinted that the organization is making efforts to start paediatric services for children under 15 years, especially treatment of malaria, cholera and other seasonal diseases.

The release which observed that Bauchi state recorded 19,519 cases of Cholera across the state, noted that MSF provided treatment to 11,189 patients in two Cholera Treatment Centres in Bauchi town and Toro LGA, in addition to setting up 19 oral rehydration points across the state.

It added that the MSF team also responded to the more recent Lassa fever outbreak in the state where 95 cases were recorded with 10 deaths, noting that out of the confirmed cases, 26 were healthcare workers that got infected while providing care to the patients.

Abdulkareem Yakubu further explained that MSF teams were also on the ground to supported the health authorities to treat 74 patients and provided training to the Ministry of Health staff on treatment and prevention of Lassa fever.

He said in Bauchi, MSF recruited community health workers that goes into the community to enlighten the people on causes of diseases and the preventive measures they could take to avoid or curb their spread.

MSF assured of its preparedness to support the health authorities in responding to any disease outbreaks or emergencies at the commencement of the project in Ganjuwa LG.

Yakubu said MSF in Bauchi will also be working in collaboration with Nigeria’s national programme on Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV by identifying and referring children suffering from the diseases to the national programme for treatment.

The Field Communication Officer who advised people to always go to the hospital whenever they are not feeling well, said having Lassa fever is not a death sentence, as it is curable.

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