Posts tagged Malnutrition

Photo by Remi Djian/MSF
An MSF medical worker measures a displaced child for malnutrition. Muslim communities in many towns in western Central African Republic (CAR) have been attacked in recent weeks and residents have fled. In the town of Carnot, on several occasions, armed men entered the grounds of the city hospital where MSF is working, either in an attempt to kill patients or to attack displaced people living there. The hospital teams had to intervene each time. Read more: http://bit.ly/1czCb5W

Photo by Remi Djian/MSF

An MSF medical worker measures a displaced child for malnutrition. Muslim communities in many towns in western Central African Republic (CAR) have been attacked in recent weeks and residents have fled. In the town of Carnot, on several occasions, armed men entered the grounds of the city hospital where MSF is working, either in an attempt to kill patients or to attack displaced people living there. The hospital teams had to intervene each time. Read more: http://bit.ly/1czCb5W

From the series MSF in 2013:
“We sent mobile clinics out to reach people who’d fled into the bush, where terrible conditions and lack of food made malnutrition a huge problem. Even though we were a small team we saved a lot of children’s lives that way.”— Dr. Yolaine Civil, Doctors Without Borders pediatrician in Central African Republic (CAR)MSF staff weigh a baby to check for malnutrition at a mobile clinic near Bossangoa, CAR. Photo © Ton Koene

From the series MSF in 2013:

“We sent mobile clinics out to reach people who’d fled into the bush, where terrible conditions and lack of food made malnutrition a huge problem. Even though we were a small team we saved a lot of children’s lives that way.”
— Dr. Yolaine Civil, Doctors Without Borders pediatrician in Central African Republic (CAR)
MSF staff weigh a baby to check for malnutrition at a mobile clinic near Bossangoa, CAR. Photo © Ton Koene

Photo by Lynn Jacoby
A pediatrician and the patient she still thinks about from South Sudan: “Aziza was a severely malnourished little girl … She almost died multiple times a day for the first week.” Read the story http://bit.ly/1drI4SL

Photo by Lynn Jacoby

A pediatrician and the patient she still thinks about from South Sudan: “Aziza was a severely malnourished little girl … She almost died multiple times a day for the first week.” Read the story http://bit.ly/1drI4SL

Photo: In the Madaoua and Bouza districts of Niger, there were an average of seven deaths for every 10,000 children every day last year. More than half of the deaths were due to malaria. © Juan-Carlos Tomasi
A Vicious Cycle in Sahel
Malaria and malnutrition are closely related. This is played out dramatically in Africa’s Sahel region during the “hunger gap” months. Food stocks run low and new crops are not ready for harvest, so malnutrition is at its peak; meanwhile, the rainy season, when mosquitoes breed, is in full swing. The diseases combine in a vicious circle: malnourished children with weak immune systems can’t fight diseases including malaria; children sick with malaria are more likely to become dangerously malnourished.

Photo: In the Madaoua and Bouza districts of Niger, there were an average of seven deaths for every 10,000 children every day last year. More than half of the deaths were due to malaria. © Juan-Carlos Tomasi

A Vicious Cycle in Sahel

Malaria and malnutrition are closely related. This is played out dramatically in Africa’s Sahel region during the “hunger gap” months. Food stocks run low and new crops are not ready for harvest, so malnutrition is at its peak; meanwhile, the rainy season, when mosquitoes breed, is in full swing. The diseases combine in a vicious circle: malnourished children with weak immune systems can’t fight diseases including malaria; children sick with malaria are more likely to become dangerously malnourished.

Photo: People queue for food distribution in Mugunga III camp. DRC 2012 © Aurelie Baumel/MSF
DRC: High Levels of Sexual Violence in Goma Camps
People displaced by armed conflict around Goma are now suffering high levels of sexual violence in and around the camps where they have taken shelter.
Between December 3, 2012, and January 5, 2013, the MSF team working in Mugunga III camp, a few kilometers west of Goma, registered and treated 95 patients who were victims of sexual violence, with a notable increase in late December. MSF denounces the lack of action on the part of those responsible for protecting civilians and the poor security conditions in the Goma camps. 
“The camps and surrounding villages face a glaring lack of security,” said Thierry Goffeau, MSF head of mission in Goma. “The responsible authorities and the leaders of the various armed groups all claim—without exception—that they are defending the civilian populations. They must thus assume their responsibility and ensure that the most vulnerable are not subject to violence or reprisals.”

Photo: People queue for food distribution in Mugunga III camp. DRC 2012 © Aurelie Baumel/MSF

DRC: High Levels of Sexual Violence in Goma Camps

People displaced by armed conflict around Goma are now suffering high levels of sexual violence in and around the camps where they have taken shelter.

Between December 3, 2012, and January 5, 2013, the MSF team working in Mugunga III camp, a few kilometers west of Goma, registered and treated 95 patients who were victims of sexual violence, with a notable increase in late December. MSF denounces the lack of action on the part of those responsible for protecting civilians and the poor security conditions in the Goma camps. 

“The camps and surrounding villages face a glaring lack of security,” said Thierry Goffeau, MSF head of mission in Goma. “The responsible authorities and the leaders of the various armed groups all claim—without exception—that they are defending the civilian populations. They must thus assume their responsibility and ensure that the most vulnerable are not subject to violence or reprisals.”

Photo:Malian refugees wait in Fassala to be registered by Mauritanian officials and a local NGO after fleeing Mali for the border. Mauritania 2012 © Lynsey Addario/VII
Alarming Malnutrition and Mortality Among Malian Refugees in Mauritania
One year after the start of the political crisis in Mali, insecurity resulting from the military coup, the Tuareg rebellion, and the presence of armed Islamist groups in the north has displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Some 55,000 refugees are still living in difficult conditions in the Mbera camp in Mauritania. A nutrition and retrospective mortality survey by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontères (MSF) has revealed critical mortality and malnutrition rates. In this interview, Karl Nawezi, head of MSF’s activities in Mauritania, explains why the situation in the camp—which is located in the middle of the desert a few kilometres from the Malian border—has reached such an alarming point.

Photo:Malian refugees wait in Fassala to be registered by Mauritanian officials and a local NGO after fleeing Mali for the border. Mauritania 2012 © Lynsey Addario/VII

Alarming Malnutrition and Mortality Among Malian Refugees in Mauritania


One year after the start of the political crisis in Mali, insecurity resulting from the military coup, the Tuareg rebellion, and the presence of armed Islamist groups in the north has displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Some 55,000 refugees are still living in difficult conditions in the Mbera camp in Mauritania. A nutrition and retrospective mortality survey by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontères (MSF) has revealed critical mortality and malnutrition rates. In this interview, Karl Nawezi, head of MSF’s activities in Mauritania, explains why the situation in the camp—which is located in the middle of the desert a few kilometres from the Malian border—has reached such an alarming point.

The day-to-day purpose of the project here is to heal kids like George of their severe acute malnutrition, so that they avoid stunting or, worse, death, and you could no more quantify this benefit than you could put a price on a human life. But MSF is here with an additional, even more ambitious goal: if we can help kids like George with a model of community based nutritional care tailor-made specifically for the Bihar State, India setting, then we might just be able to convince the government to adopt this model of care, scale it up and then help every sick kid like George.
MSF doctor, Luke Chapman, on his work with malnutrition in Bihar state, India. Please leave your questions and comments for Luke in the box below his blog post. 
Photo: An MSF staff member measures a child’s mid-upper arm circumferance to check for malnutrition in Mogadishu. Somalia 2012 © Mike Woodman/MSF
Responding to Urgent Nutritional Needs on the Outskirts of Mogadishu
Years of intense violence, drought, malnutrition, and infectious disease have wrecked the Somali health system and displaced thousands of Somalis from their homes. While food security seems to have improved since 2011, MSF assessment shows that malnutrition rates are still alarming in many parts of the country, including the outskirts of Mogadishu.
According to this assessment, one in four children living in camps outside the Somali capital are malnourished. In response to this critical situation, an MSF team launched an emergency three-day intervention to provide urgent nutritional treatment and on-site medical care to children under the age of five.

Photo: An MSF staff member measures a child’s mid-upper arm circumferance to check for malnutrition in Mogadishu. Somalia 2012 © Mike Woodman/MSF

Responding to Urgent Nutritional Needs on the Outskirts of Mogadishu

Years of intense violence, drought, malnutrition, and infectious disease have wrecked the Somali health system and displaced thousands of Somalis from their homes. While food security seems to have improved since 2011, MSF assessment shows that malnutrition rates are still alarming in many parts of the country, including the outskirts of Mogadishu.

According to this assessment, one in four children living in camps outside the Somali capital are malnourished. In response to this critical situation, an MSF team launched an emergency three-day intervention to provide urgent nutritional treatment and on-site medical care to children under the age of five.

But can you ‘treat’ malnutrition? Maybe there is something strange about putting illnesses which are directly caused by very specific parasites in the same bracket as one with “geosociopolitical” causes. The facts are plain though. Whether you choose to label it as a disease or not (and MSF does), you can do something about it, and that is what really matters.
Photo: Francis Gatluak, one-time MSF patient, now the manager of the tuberculosis program at MSF’s hospital in Leer, South Sudan. South Sudan 2012 © John Stanmyer/VII Photo
The Patient Becomes the Healer
Three decades ago, when Francis Gatluak was a boy, civil war forced his family to flee their small village in Unity State, in the northern reaches of what is now South Sudan. He was diagnosed with kala azar, a disease that thrives in poor, unstable areas with limited health care.  
Francis endured the difficult SSG treatment at MSF’s nearby camp, and recovered. Since he spoke some English, the staff asked him if he would stay and work with them as a translator. He did this for a few months, developing a desire to do more. “I started to learn about how I can help the patient,” he says. “If there are people who can give medication, I can also help to do the job, and help the community.”
Today, he is a nurse in his twenty-third year working with MSF. He has gone on MSF assignments in other African countries and recently returned to the Leer hospital, where he is now in charge of the tuberculosis ward. And he recently traveled to Washington, DC, to speak on the organization’s behalf when MSF was awarded the highly-esteemed 2012 J. William Fulbright Award for International Understanding.

Photo: Francis Gatluak, one-time MSF patient, now the manager of the tuberculosis program at MSF’s hospital in Leer, South Sudan. South Sudan 2012 © John Stanmyer/VII Photo

The Patient Becomes the Healer

Three decades ago, when Francis Gatluak was a boy, civil war forced his family to flee their small village in Unity State, in the northern reaches of what is now South SudanHe was diagnosed with kala azar, a disease that thrives in poor, unstable areas with limited health care.  

Francis endured the difficult SSG treatment at MSF’s nearby camp, and recovered. Since he spoke some English, the staff asked him if he would stay and work with them as a translator. He did this for a few months, developing a desire to do more. “I started to learn about how I can help the patient,” he says. “If there are people who can give medication, I can also help to do the job, and help the community.”


Today, he is a nurse in his twenty-third year working with MSF. He has gone on MSF assignments in other African countries and recently returned to the Leer hospital, where he is now in charge of the tuberculosis ward. And he recently traveled to Washington, DC, to speak on the organization’s behalf when MSF was awarded the highly-esteemed 2012 J. William Fulbright Award for International Understanding.

MSF Field Report: Decreasing Child Mortality in South Sudan
Patients I’ll Never Forget 


While working in Batil Refugee camp setting up an inpatient therapeutic feeding center, Dr. Jacoby met several patients that she’ll never forget. One of her first patients was a young boy with multiple bee stings to his head. He was in good humor and basically ok, but was starving for food to eat. When food was scarce, young boys, like “Bee Boy,” would climb trees to get honey from beehives for their families to eat.

Another one of her patients, Aziza, was severely malnourished and almost died multiple times a day for the first week. She would go into shock, because she was suffering from lots of infections that were difficult to treat. “We had to be really careful with Aziza, because malnourished kids lose so much muscle, and a lot of the muscle they lose is in their heart. If you give them too much fluid, they go into heart failure. So we sat with Aziza and we gave her small amounts of fluid, and then we’d recheck her heart rate every 15-20 minutes,” says Dr. Jacoby.

By the end of Dr. Jacoby’s stay in the Batil camp, Aziza was sitting up and even smiling a little bit. She would only cry when she was hungry. A couple of weeks later, Aziza finally went home.

Photo: Two-year-old Fadilla before and after receiving treatment for severe malnutrition and tuberculosis. 
When Fadilla’s grandmother brought her to the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Am Timan, Chad, she wasn’t just malnourished – she was sick and in danger of dying.
At just 13 pounds, Fadilla weighed only about half of what a two-year-old child should. At the hospital, our teams diagnosed her with severe acute malnutrition and tuberculosis – two life-threatening medical conditions.
Malnutrition is a serious medical condition, and recovery only gets more difficult when illnesses like malaria or tuberculosis are also present. But with quality medical treatment, even children as sick as Fadilla can make a full recovery. It’s possible thanks to innovations like 33-cent packets of milk-based ready-to-use therapeutic food that are so simple to administer – most malnourished children can be treated by their parents or caregivers at home.
Fadilla’s tuberculosis meant she had to stay in the hospital, but after months of intensive treatment, the brightness returned to Fadilla’s eyes and she reached her target weight. “Look at Fadilla now!” her grandmother exclaimed to the hospital staff. “She is doing so much better!”
Thanks to the support of our donors, we treated 408,000 malnourished children last year. Our medical teams are able to travel to some of the most remote, dangerous, and neglected parts of the world to identify and treat children, like Fadilla, suffering from malnutrition.
There’s hope for even the most severely malnourished child. If we can reach them in time, treatments like therapeutic foods can help children who might not otherwise survive.
Donate to help Doctors Without Borders save the lives of malnourished children and bring quality medical care to people in nearly 70 countries around the world.

Photo: Two-year-old Fadilla before and after receiving treatment for severe malnutrition and tuberculosis. 

When Fadilla’s grandmother brought her to the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Am Timan, Chad, she wasn’t just malnourished – she was sick and in danger of dying.

At just 13 pounds, Fadilla weighed only about half of what a two-year-old child should. At the hospital, our teams diagnosed her with severe acute malnutrition and tuberculosis – two life-threatening medical conditions.

Malnutrition is a serious medical condition, and recovery only gets more difficult when illnesses like malaria or tuberculosis are also present. But with quality medical treatment, even children as sick as Fadilla can make a full recovery. It’s possible thanks to innovations like 33-cent packets of milk-based ready-to-use therapeutic food that are so simple to administer – most malnourished children can be treated by their parents or caregivers at home.

Fadilla’s tuberculosis meant she had to stay in the hospital, but after months of intensive treatment, the brightness returned to Fadilla’s eyes and she reached her target weight. “Look at Fadilla now!” her grandmother exclaimed to the hospital staff. “She is doing so much better!”

Thanks to the support of our donors, we treated 408,000 malnourished children last year. Our medical teams are able to travel to some of the most remote, dangerous, and neglected parts of the world to identify and treat children, like Fadilla, suffering from malnutrition.

There’s hope for even the most severely malnourished child. If we can reach them in time, treatments like therapeutic foods can help children who might not otherwise survive.

Donate to help Doctors Without Borders save the lives of malnourished children and bring quality medical care to people in nearly 70 countries around the world.

Photo: Mothers and children queue to receive food as part of treatment in Guidan Roumdji, where MSF treats malnutrition and malaria. Niger 2012 © Tanya Bindra
Op-Ed: How to Start a Child Survival Epidemic
“Running your infant to the pediatrician for a well-baby check up and shots may seem like just another chore. Who do you know who ever had measles? Many parents wonder if all those shots are really necessary in the first place. But last week, mothers, nurses, and doctors in Niger reminded me just how powerful and important these simple gestures are.”
How can improving childhood survival rates in Niger spread to a child survival epidemic? MSF pediatrician, Susan Shephered, discusses her work in the field and strategies to reduce childhood mortality worldwide. 
This article was originally published on the Huffington Post.

Photo: Mothers and children queue to receive food as part of treatment in Guidan Roumdji, where MSF treats malnutrition and malaria. Niger 2012 © Tanya Bindra

Op-Ed: How to Start a Child Survival Epidemic

Running your infant to the pediatrician for a well-baby check up and shots may seem like just another chore. Who do you know who ever had measles? Many parents wonder if all those shots are really necessary in the first place. But last week, mothers, nurses, and doctors in Niger reminded me just how powerful and important these simple gestures are.”

How can improving childhood survival rates in Niger spread to a child survival epidemic? MSF pediatrician, Susan Shephered, discusses her work in the field and strategies to reduce childhood mortality worldwide. 

This article was originally published on the Huffington Post.

Photo: Malnourished children often became unable to swallow and nasogastric intubation is required to feed them with enriched therapeutic milk. Ethiopia 2012 © Yann Libessart

MSF Assists Aid-Deprived Sudanese Refugees in Ethiopia

Nearly 40,000 Sudanese refugees fleeing conflict have sought refuge in Ethiopia. View this slideshow of our work in the area to aid the most vulnerable until the situation stabilizes.

Photo: Malnourished children often became unable to swallow and nasogastric intubation is required to feed them with enriched therapeutic milk. Ethiopia 2012 © Yann Libessart

MSF Assists Aid-Deprived Sudanese Refugees in Ethiopia

Nearly 40,000 Sudanese refugees fleeing conflict have sought refuge in Ethiopia. View this slideshow of our work in the area to aid the most vulnerable until the situation stabilizes.

Fighting Double Impact of Malnutrition and Malaria in Niger

A food crisis is affecting an estimated 18 million people across Africa’s Sahel region right now, including in Niger, where 4 million children are projected to suffer from acute malnutrition, with at least 1 million at risk of developing severe acute malnutrition. At the same time, 80 percent of children who come to MSF clinics in Niger test positive for malaria. MSF is trying to reach those who need help the most.

(Source: doctorswithoutborders.org)