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North-West witnessing alarming malnutrition crisis – Doctors Without Borders

A worsening malnutrition crisis in North West Nigeria has prompted international medical non-governmental organization Doctors Without Borders to issue a warning, stating that the existing humanitarian response have fallen short and that a disastrous consequence is imminent.

The France-headquatered NGO also known as Médecins Sans Frontières, in a statement by its country medical coordinator, Htet Aung Kyi, expressed concerns about what it calls “a vicious cycle of malnutrition, where recovered children often require readmission due to insufficient food at home.”

In the statement issued in Abuja yesterday the organisation said
“the increasing number of malnourished children in our facilities is a clear sign that as the lean season progresses, we will receive even more cases.”

According to Kyi, “the lean season which occur between May and August when food stocks dwindle, has recently commenced,” but with the MSF treatment centers already operating at full capacity, the crisis can blow over.

“The gravity of the situation is reflected in the admission rates, which have increased by 26% compared to the same period in 2022, a year already marked by unprecedentedly high numbers,” the MFS said.

“In a bid to combat the crisis, the MSF initiated three new outpatient therapeutic feeding centres, augmenting the existing 10 inpatient centres and 32 outpatient centres spread across Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara states.

“North-West Nigeria, already burdened with some of the nation’s worst health indicators, is witnessing an alarming malnutrition situation spiralling into a full-blown crisis, exacerbated by escalating violence levels.

“Armed groups’ frequent raids and kidnappings have forced many residents to seek safer grounds, leaving their farms and workplaces inaccessible due to growing insecurity.

“The risks of travelling unsafe roads pose additional challenges for those in need of medical care to reach health centres and hospitals.

“Despite the intensifying crisis, northwest Nigeria is overlooked, lacking the support required for a lifesaving response.

“This response needs to incorporate preventive measures, such as food distributions, improvements to food security, early detection of malnutrition cases, and timely treatment,” it said.

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Naija Times