Malnutrition: Urgent Attention Needed in Northern Nigeria


The levels of malnutrition in northern Nigeria are inching towards severe conditions, and only immediate action by the authorities and humanitarian partners can avert impending casualties.

Development Diaries reports that Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), in recent weeks, recorded an ‘extraordinary’ increase in admissions of severely malnourished children in northern Nigeria.

We understand that the admissions are twice as high as recorded in 2023. This is worrying, as horrifying figures are being recorded while low levels or no therapeutic foods reach some regions for a comprehensive response.

‘We are resorting to treating patients on mattresses on the floor because our facilities are full’, MSF’s country representative in Nigeria, Dr Simba Tirima, said in a statement.

‘Children are dying. If immediate action is not taken, more lives hang in the balance.

‘Everyone needs to step in to save lives and allow the children of northern Nigeria to grow free from malnutrition and its disastrous long-term, if not fatal, consequences’.

We also understand that in the northwestern part of the region, in Zamfara State, the inpatient centres in Shinkafi and Zurmi have received up to 30 percent more admissions in April compared to March.

The facility in Talata Mafara has seen about a 20 percent increase in the same period. Similarly, in April, MSF inpatient facilities in major cities like Kano and Sokoto reported alarming surges of 75 percent and 100 percent, respectively.

The therapeutic feeding centre in Kebbi State also documented a rise of more than 20 percent in inpatient admissions from March to April 2024.

The Nigerian government must step up its effort to provide food and nutrition assistance to as many Nigerians as possible to avoid a catastrophic humanitarian crisis.

The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation must increase efforts in food assistance across northern Nigeria to ensure that those in need of immediate nutrition responses are reached.

Source: MSF

Photo source: MSF


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