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Nigeria © Sébastien Duijndam pour Action contre la Faim

Headline

Nigeria

Hunger threatens more than a million children in northeast

By August 2021, it is estimated that 1,148,906 children under the age of five will be acutely malnourished in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, out of which 605,000 will be severely acutely malnourished. They will suffer from the most severe form of malnutrition that leads to death without adequate treatment. According to estimates from the IPC or Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, which measure levels of food and nutritional insecurity.

Action Against Hunger is working in the region since 2010 participated in the IPC Acute Malnutrition Analysis in partnership with thirty organisations under the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria.

Adama, 48 months old, is one of the children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Her mother, Jidda Saleh, lives in the internally displaced persons’ camp in Fariya, Borno state

"My daughter Adama had swollen cheeks and we didn’t know what was wrong with her"
Jidda
Borno

“We engaged the services of a traditional doctor who cut her cheeks with sharp objects for the pus to come out. However, Adama’s condition worsened as her entire body started swelling after that. We were also referred to another traditional doctor who gave us leaves and bark of trees for medication, but it never improved her condition.” Fortunately, for Adama and her mother, they encountered an Action Against Hunger staff in Fariya camp who brought them to the stabilization centre. “When we came, my daughter could neither sit nor walk but here in the facility, we have been on medication and good food too. Adama’ swelling is gone and my daughter is well now,” Jidda narrated.

Adama -recovering © Action contre la Faim Nigeria.

ADAMA SALEH

© Action contre la Faim Nigeria.

Rising insecurity impends childcare

 

Today, we are facing a most dramatic situation for children living in northeastern Nigeria,” says Dabagai Dabagai, director of Action Against Hunger in Nigeria. “Projections for 2021 show acute malnutrition rates require immediate action to save lives. Between insecurity, displacement, lack of access to food and hygiene, as well as inadequate health care practices, the factors leading to this disease are numerous.”

Promoting adequate infant and young child feeding practices, immediate access to treatment, as well as strengthening community detection of acute malnutrition, access to water, hygiene and sanitation, and improving the immunisation coverage are among the recommendations of the IPC analysis.

Unfortunately, the current level of insecurity does not allow humanitarians to implement all of these recommendations leaving many, especially children under five at risk. The recent events in Damasak, where our stabilisation centre for children suffering from severe acute malnutrition was burnt down and our colleagues targeted, prove that the security situation is deteriorating.

We call on the government and international donors to ensure that humanitarians can safely reach all people in need across northeast Nigeria. In the light of current analyses, without actions, we foresee a dark future,” concludes Dabagai Dabagai.

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