Posts tagged hunger

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: A young patient looks into the camera while an MSF nurse talks to her mother at an MSF feeding center in Angara. Chad 2012 © Florian Lems
Chad’s Hunger Season Ends But Malnutrition Remains
Every year, the people of Chad face recurrent food crises, putting tremendous strain on families and communities.
"We have made a small step forward,” says Marcus Bachmann, MSF’s project coordinator in Biltine. “The total number of children in our program has decreased—from 1,300 in June to 1,000 in September. But we are still seeing an average of 200 new admissions per week. That means there are still many severely malnourished children."
Though the hunger season may be drawing to a close, underlying problems remain and need to be addressed.

Photo: A young patient looks into the camera while an MSF nurse talks to her mother at an MSF feeding center in Angara. Chad 2012 © Florian Lems

Chad’s Hunger Season Ends But Malnutrition Remains

Every year, the people of Chad face recurrent food crises, putting tremendous strain on families and communities.

"We have made a small step forward,” says Marcus Bachmann, MSF’s project coordinator in Biltine. “The total number of children in our program has decreased—from 1,300 in June to 1,000 in September. But we are still seeing an average of 200 new admissions per week. That means there are still many severely malnourished children."

Though the hunger season may be drawing to a close, underlying problems remain and need to be addressed.

Photo: A young mother stands outside of a MSF tent in Niger, where her baby has been admitted for severe malnutrition. © Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera

Hunger Stalks Niger

About six million people are at risk of going hungry in Niger due to population growth, rising prices for staple foods, and lack of basic healthcare. Individual family efforts to make ends meet are faltering, as the queue of undernourished mothers and children continue to grow at relief camps.

More photos of the hunger battle here.

Photo: A young mother stands outside of a MSF tent in Niger, where her baby has been admitted for severe malnutrition. © Tanya Bindra/Al Jazeera

Hunger Stalks Niger

About six million people are at risk of going hungry in Niger due to population growth, rising prices for staple foods, and lack of basic healthcare. Individual family efforts to make ends meet are faltering, as the queue of undernourished mothers and children continue to grow at relief camps.

More photos of the hunger battle here.

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.
An MSF nurse writes about the positive impact community health workers have on preventing malnutrition in Chad. Read more.
Sahel: As Likely Malnutrition Crisis Looms, MSF Prepares Short- And Long-Term Responses

A food crisis has been declared in the Sahelian Band of West Africa. UNICEF has estimated that up to 15 million people in six countries in the region are living with moderate or acute food insecurity. In a region where global acute childhood malnutrition rates regularly near the warning threshold of 10 percent, any factor that further reduces access to food can tip the situation into a full-blown nutritional crisis.

	Although MSF has not yet noted a significant increase in cases in most of its current nutritional programs, the organization did have to open new malnutrition treatment programs in Biltine and Yao, in Chad, where rates of acute malnutrition of 24 percent and 20 percent, respectively, have been reported. Teams are also evaluating the nutritional situation in other areas of Chad, as well as in Mali, Niger, Mauritania, and Senegal.

	“It is too soon to know the extent of the expected nutritional crisis,” says Stéphane Doyon, manager of MSF’s malnutrition campaign. “Traditionally, the most difficult period is still ahead, between May and July. However, we already project that hundreds of thousands of children will suffer from acute severe malnutrition, as they do every year in this region.”Photo: Chad 2011 © Alfons Rodriguez
An MSF staff member measures the mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) of a child with severe acute malnutrition in Chad.

Sahel: As Likely Malnutrition Crisis Looms, MSF Prepares Short- And Long-Term Responses

A food crisis has been declared in the Sahelian Band of West Africa. UNICEF has estimated that up to 15 million people in six countries in the region are living with moderate or acute food insecurity. In a region where global acute childhood malnutrition rates regularly near the warning threshold of 10 percent, any factor that further reduces access to food can tip the situation into a full-blown nutritional crisis.

Although MSF has not yet noted a significant increase in cases in most of its current nutritional programs, the organization did have to open new malnutrition treatment programs in Biltine and Yao, in Chad, where rates of acute malnutrition of 24 percent and 20 percent, respectively, have been reported. Teams are also evaluating the nutritional situation in other areas of Chad, as well as in Mali, Niger, Mauritania, and Senegal.

“It is too soon to know the extent of the expected nutritional crisis,” says Stéphane Doyon, manager of MSF’s malnutrition campaign. “Traditionally, the most difficult period is still ahead, between May and July. However, we already project that hundreds of thousands of children will suffer from acute severe malnutrition, as they do every year in this region.”

Photo: Chad 2011 © Alfons Rodriguez
An MSF staff member measures the mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) of a child with severe acute malnutrition in Chad.

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.

MSF Stepping Up Malnutrition Intervention As Horn of Africa Food Crisis Worsens

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.