23 July 2013, UNICEF, Niyawe, Nigeria, Roar Bakke Sorenson -- "More than a half million children in northern Nigeria have been treated for malnutrition with peanut paste provided by UNICEF. Now villagers refer to the old Hausa kings of West Africa when speaking of the well-being of children, calling them the ‘Children of the King’.
Nigeria’s rates of childhood stunting and wasting are among the highest in the world, particularly in the north, where the country reaches into the Sahel region. In many cases these conditions can be life threatening if not treated properly.
In 2009, in collaboration with the Nigerian Government, UNICEF started a pilotproject based on research recommending treatment of malnourished children in their home communities, rather than in far-off hospitals or health clinics, a treatment that often comes with an enormous cost for the family.
Fatima Yashia is one of the mothers who brought her child, 22-month-old Osman, to the Katanga primary health care centre for treatment. Osman is one of more than 500,000 children who have been through the programme in northern Nigeria in the last five years. Eating ready-to-use therapeutic food over a period of eight weeks, children are able to recover quickly from malnutrition. ..."