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.
Seeing firsthand the distance so many families have to travel in order to seek basic treatment here, I worry about what the months of the hunger gap will bring when the effects of food insecurity and lack of access to early medical treatment are intertwined.
I could not afford the transport cost [approximately $8]. I have no support in Galcayo; I survive only with what other patients and caretakers give me.
Ader Mohammud, 19, traveled 150 miles to bring her weakened 11-month-old daughter, Najmo, to MSF’s treatment center in Galcaayo, Somalia. The long journey was almost too late and too long for the baby girl. Though her daughter is getting treatment at the moment, Ader does not know how she will get home; she thinks she may have no choice but to sell the food rations she’ll get upon departure to pay for transport.
Most of our therapeutic feeding programs in Somalia are running over capacity, with more than 3,400 children currently enrolled in our nutritional programs. [During] the past weeks we’ve seen a sharp rise in cases with some people traveling hundreds of kilometers to get access to health care and treatment for their malnourished children.
Joe Belliveau, MSF operational manager