CHILDREN SUFFERING FROM SEVERE ACUTE MALNUTRITION ADMITTED
MOTHERS TRAINED TO SCREEN FOR MALNUTRITION
The persistence of the protracted armed conflict between the armed groups known as Jama’atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda’Awati Wal Jihad (JAS) and the Islamic State West Africa’s Province (ISWAP) and State forces, including the Multinational Joint Task Force, has largely contributed to the degradation of the humanitarian situation in Northeastern Nigeria.
As the conflict is entering its tenth year, over 1,7 million people are internally displaced and despite the effort undertaken by humanitarian actors to bring assistance to affected populations, it is estimated that 7.1 million people (2.3 million girls, 1.9 million boys, 1.6 million women and 1.3 million men) are in need of humanitarian assistance in three of the most affected States in Northeastern Nigeria: Adamawa, Yobe and Borno State which remains the epicenter of the crisis. (OCHA Humanitarian Response Strategy. January 2019-December 2021). According to OCHA, over 1 million children aged 6-59 across the BAY States (Borno Adamawa and Yobe) are undernourished, with 367,000 with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and 727,000 with Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM). Furthermore, the Nigerian Cadre Harmonise (November 2018) indicates that 2 735 603 individuals are at risk of facing critical food and nutrition insecurity including 1 380 597 individuals in Borno State alone.
Health structures have been particularly affected by the protracted armed conflict. According to WHO Health resources and Service Availability Monitoring System (HeRAMS, August 2018), out of 809 health facilities identified across Borno State in 2018, 251 (31%) were fully damaged, 267 (33%) were partially damaged whereas 276 (34%) were intact. In addition, only 48% of the Health structures were fully functioning whereas the rest were either not functioning at all (41%) or partially functioning (11%).
Despite difficulties accessing the area due to unsafe roads, ALIMA staff were among the first international aid workers to set foot in the town of Monguno (140km from Maiduguri) in June 2016. ALIMA has since helped encourage other international NGOs to intervene in the area and is now working together to provide the best possible care to the people in need. Actually, ALIMA is providing medical and nutritional care at seven IDP clinics in Monguno, as well as at the Maternal Child Health Centre where ALIMA offers hospitalisation for children for health and nutrition and a Basic Emergency Maternal and Newborn Care (BEmONC) and at the General Hospital Monguno where Comprehensive Emergency Maternal and Newborn Care (CEmONC) and an Emergency Room for adults are available.
In September 2016, ALIMA opened a clinic near the numerous IDP camps in Muna (in the outskirts of Maiduguri) to meet the medical needs of children under the age of five and pregnant and lactating women.
Since May 2017, ALIMA is partnering with the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (ITFC-UMTH) and UNICEF to implement an Inpatient Therapeutic Feeding Program Training Centre within the UMTH. The purpose of this centre of excellence is to manage complicated cases of severe acute malnutrition as well as to train professional health workers from the Ministry of Health on the management of children with severe acute malnutrition with complications. All the participants benefit from a ten days training, consisting of both theoretical and practical.
In Baga and Doro (Kukawa LGA) ALIMA has been providing primary and secondary healthcare to children under 5 in addition to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services for pregnant and lactating women including antenatal. The degradation of the security situation in Kukawa LGA prompted ALIMA to momentarily suspended its activities in Baga and Doro in December 2018.
In the South Borno, in Akira/Uba and Hawul, ALIMA is implementing since January 2018 a three years Early Recovery Project aiming at strengthening the health system in both LGAs. ALIMA is supporting one general hospital and ten primary health centres.
ALIMA is intervening at the Federal Medical Centre of Owo, in Ondo state since January 2018 in support to the management of Lassa Fever, a viral haemorrhagic fever, in close collaboration with the Nigeria Centre of Disease Control (NCDC).
ALIMA is involving in both case management, where its team is managing almost one third of the total cases reported in the country, and in research with the Observational cohort study of Lassa fever clinical Course and Prognostic factors in an Epidemic context in Nigeria (LASCOPE) in collaboration with NCDC, INSERM, ALERRT and University of Oxford.
ALIMA technically contributed on the elaboration of the National Guidelines for Lassa Fever Case Management.
ALIMA projects in Nigeria are funded by the Delegation of European Union (DEU), ECHO, OFDA, the French government, UNICEF, WHO, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ELMA and the Start Network.