Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has commenced the process to establish two stabilisation centres in Katsina State to treat children with acute malnutrition problems.
Mr. Oluniyi Oyedokun, a nutritionist with United Nations Children (UNICEF), disclosed this during a training organised for health workers yesterday in Katsina.
He explained that the two functional stabilisation centres would be established in Funtua and Dutsinma Local Government Areas.
According to Mr. Oyedokun, “The centres will be provided only for the affected children to be treated until the complications that brought them to the centre are resolved.
“Which means they are not going to stay at the centre for the whole length of the treatment, but we just want them to be managed and stabilised.
“That is why we called it a stabilisation centre. We want them to be stabilised because they went due to some medical complications.
“For instance, maybe they don’t have appetite, which means we want the apatite now to return, so that they can now start eating with their mouths. That’s a medical complication.
“Maybe their legs, hands or face are swollen, so when they go there, they will resolve it until they are no longer there. These are some of the examples of the medical complications.
“When the complications are resolved, then they can now be referred to the nearest primary health care where they came from.
“When you have centres that can resolve these medical complications, and stabilise these children, that’s what we call a functional stabilisation centre.”
According to him, the centres are called functional because they will be able to provide 24-hour services.
He explained that currently, UNICEF is managing children in 12 LGAs and the children could now be referred to the two centres.
Earlier in his remarks, the General Manager, Katsina State Hospital Management Board, Dr. Abduljalil Umar, said at least 18 health workers were engaged for the training.
He said that the health workers after the training on how to fight malnutrition would be posted to the stabilisation centres.
According to him, the training is aimed at ensuring that the medical personnel were taught what to do when they come across children with malnutrition problems.
He added that the centres would reduce the time the affected children could spend in the hospital, recover and be sent to where they can continue to get outpatient care.
According to Dr. Umar, the state government has made a lot of efforts in fighting malnutrition, especially by providing the facilities, the personnel and hospitals where the children can always go.
He explained that all across the 34 LGAs in the state, the government had provided primary and secondary health facilities.
The project is funded by the USAID and to be executed by the UNICEF in collaboration with the Katsina State Government.