New resources will help communities respond to the deterioration in the diet of children affected by conflict
Maiduguri, March 4, 2021 – At least 3 million conflict-affected children in northeastern Nigeria will be screened for severe acute malnutrition under a new grant announced today by the Japanese government.
The new funds will help UNICEF work with mothers and other caregivers to promote community food production and the detection, referral and monitoring of children with severe acute malnutrition in Borno and Yobe.
Children with severe acute malnutrition have a significantly higher risk of death compared to well-nourished children. A recent survey found that the rate of malnutrition among children aged 6 to 59 months is up to 10 percent in Borno state and up to 12.3 percent in Yobe state – well above the 5 percent threshold globally considered by Public health importance is recognized.
With the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated loss of livelihoods and food insecurity, thousands more children in the region could be at risk of death from malnutrition or stunts this year.
The new grant will provide early detection and prompt treatment for children with acute malnutrition and build a strong network of nutritionists in the community who can ensure rapid referral of malnourished children to health facilities where trained health workers can help.
At least 50,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women and other caregivers are trained to store and cook affordable food for themselves and their children. They are also trained to monitor their child’s nutritional status at home.
“We are deeply concerned that children in northeastern Nigeria suffer not only from the direct effects of conflict, but also from other life-threatening consequences such as malnutrition. The children’s situation has worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ”said SHINOZAWA Takayuki, Chargé d ‘Affaires ai at the Japanese Embassy in Nigeria.
“We hope these funds will help UNICEF and Nigerian families and communities ensure life-saving nutrition so children can survive and thrive.”
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