In a bid to address the devastating effects of the 2022 floods on children’s nutrition, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has donated therapeutic diets to lactating and expectant mothers in Bayelsa State.
The donations were made at the primary health centre in Sagbama town, which is the headquarters of the Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
The UNICEF team, led by Anselem Audu, the head of the UNICEF Port Harcourt field office, explained that the purpose of the donation was to alleviate the impact of the shortage of adequate nutrition for children in the area. Accompanied by officials from the state Ministry of Health, the UNICEF team noted that data from their research and partners showed that Sagbama Local Government Area was among the worst hit by the 2022 floods, which destroyed farmlands and led to a high rate of malnourished children.
Audu highlighted that UNICEF intends to replicate this initiative in other flood-affected Local Government Areas across the state. He emphasised that this was not the agency’s first intervention after the devastating floods in Bayelsa.
Speaking about therapeutic diets, Audu explained that they are a modification of regular diets. In administering them, modifications are made in nutrients and texture, as well as food allergies and food intolerance.
Therapeutic diets are meals planned to enable and control the intake of certain foods and nutrients. They are used as part of the treatment of certain medical conditions, especially in children. These diets are prescribed by physicians and planned by nutrition specialists.