By Abah Nnanna, Abakaliki
Health experts in the health sector of Ebonyi state had called for improve advocacy on the fight against malnutrition, malaria, and other public health challenges in the state.
They spoke in Abakaliki during the September 2021 meeting of the Advocacy Communication and Social Mobilisation (ACSM) Core Group, a program sponsored by TipTop Jhpiego.
A Nutrition Officer in the Ebonyi Ministry of Health, Cyprian Ogbonna, while speaking decried the rate of malnutrition in the state, noting that the death rate caused by the disease was alarming.
Ogbonna said that from the national nutritional health survey in 2018, it estimated that 20, 000 children die annually in Ebonyi state due to the harshness of acute malnutrition in the state, especially in the rural areas.
He said, “from the national nutritional health survey in 2018, it estimated that 20, 000 children die annually in Ebonyi state due to severity of acute malnutrition.
“So, there is a need to improve the advocacy, especially in the rural area. We can save more lives if we can reach the poorest in the society and enlighten them more on nutrition,” he said.
Lawrence Nwankwor, Ebonyi State Malaria program Manager in a remark explained that the meeting was a coordination component of the malaria program that has the responsibility of discussing resource mobilization and increase demands on the use of malaria commodities.
“The meeting has representatives from religious bodies and people from the state ministry of health and local government representatives.
“On the rate of malaria in Ebonyi, we are making progress in reduction with some of the advocacies which we need to improve across the local government areas in the state.
“To reduce malaria, we must increase our access to its commodities, make use of the net and maintain hygiene in our environment by cleaning the waterways,” Nwankwor advised.
Mr. Emmanuel Ogharu tip-top state coordinator said that malaria indicators are changing for good in the state but decried that the Effium and Ezza Effium communal crisis affect health activities in the Ohaukwu area.
On his part, John Nkwuda, Immunisation Officer, in the Health Ministry said the team on immunization is committed to ensuring that some of these diseases are properly checkmated in the state.