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Flagging The Conscience Of Truth

Doctors Expresses Alarm over Worsening Malnutrition Crisis in North-West Nigeria

ByWeb Manager

Jul 15, 2023

International humanitarian medical non-governmental organization, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), has sounded the alarm about a worsening malnutrition crisis in North-West Nigeria. The organization, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières, expressed concern that the current humanitarian response has fallen short, putting the region at risk of a catastrophic outcome in the near future.

In a statement issued by Htet Aung Kyi, MSF’s country medical coordinator, the NGO highlighted the presence of a “vicious cycle of malnutrition,” where children who have recovered from malnutrition face the risk of readmission due to insufficient food at home.

The statement, released in Abuja on Friday, emphasized that the number of malnourished children in MSF facilities is steadily increasing, signaling a dire situation as the lean season progresses. The lean season, which occurs between May and August when food stocks are scarce, has recently commenced, putting further strain on the already full capacity MSF treatment centers.

“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.

The organization has called for urgent action to address the growing malnutrition crisis and prevent its devastating consequences. Immediate and comprehensive humanitarian interventions are needed to ensure adequate food supply, access to healthcare, and nutrition support for vulnerable communities in North-West Nigeria.

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