Responding to the seasonal peak of malnutrition in Niger
Support from the EU Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) helped UNICEF to improve early access to and quality of severe acute malnutrition treatment in Niger
Malnutrition is a major threat to children’s health and development in Niger. More than 4 out of 10 children under 5 are stunted, robbing them of their full potential. Global acute malnutrition is consistently above the 10 per cent ‘alert’ level – even during times and in places where no nutrition-related emergencies have been declared. Children suffering from severe acute malnutrition are 11 times more likely to die than a well-nourished child.
Despite many efforts, severe acute malnutrition prevalence and burden remain extremely high. On average annually, 350,000 to 400,000 children under the age of five are admitted to nutritional programmes in Niger. As Niger’s population continues to grow, the burden of malnutrition will persist, even with significant efforts in treatment. A stronger focus on prevention is key to reversing malnutrition in the country.
The peak period will start soon, this is the time in which we have many more cases, especially cases of severe acute malnutrition and cases of malaria
In 2020, UNICEF receives additional US$ 2.6 million funding support from the EU Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) to ensure that children suffering from severe acute malnutrition receive quality care and treatment amidst the Covid-19 pandemic context.
This is linked to the rainy season which has already started. This explains why at the CRENI, we´ve therefore registered a very high number in terms of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition complicated by severe malaria or other associated pathologies
Support from the EU Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) helped UNICEF to improve early access to and quality of severe acute malnutrition treatment through the procurement and provision of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food to health facilities.
Through this funding contributions, UNICEF also supports the delivery of a coordinated and integrated approach to addressing severe acute malnutrition in children by ensuring a continuum of nutrition care and support for children and mothers. Health staff and community health workers received training on Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition, Infant and Young Child Feeding practices and screenings activities.
In normal times, we register between five to ten cases of children with severe acute malnutrition per day, and during peak periods we can reach a number of 30 to 50 cases per day. 90% of the cases we receive are cases with complications