CHILDREN SUFFERING FROM SEVERE ACUTE MALNUTRITION ADMITTED
CHILDREN VACCINATED AGAINST MEASLES
Since 2009, northeast Nigeria has been severely affected by violent conflict between the Nigerian Federal Army and armed insurgents. Nigerian security forces have recaptured a number of villages and towns in the region since the beginning of 2016, revealing acute humanitarian needs of populations previously inaccessible.
Around a third of the people living in Borno State are currently internally displaced, with the majority seeking refuge in the state capital Maiduguri. Health facilities have been destroyed, looted or damaged as a result of the armed conflict. Those health facilities still functioning are constrained, with inadequate staffing and insufficient supplies and equipment to cover the health needs of internally displaced persons and the local populations.
Before the insurgency, Borno State already had health indicators significantly lower than national figures. The deterioration of the already precarious health situation, combined with the disruption of local markets, trade, and agriculture has led to food insecurity. Infant and maternal mortality rates have skyrocketed due to low vaccination coverage and a high prevalence of diarrheal diseases and acute malnutrition. According to the World Health Organization, the overall nutrition situation in Borno State is classified as very alarming.
ALIMA now runs health clinics in 4 of Monguno’s IDP camps, where kids under 5 continue to receive free primary health and nutritional care; a mobile health clinic in the Bakassi host community, and is supporting the Maternal and Child Health Center, a 29-bed treatment unit that serves as a referral center for stabilising complicated malnutrition cases.
In Maiduguri, ALIMA is supporting a 30-bed Inpatient Therapeutic Feeding Center (ITFC) within the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH), which is equipped to care for children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) with complications. A new training program within the UMTH ITFC teaches health staff from around Borno State best practices on detecting and caring for SAM with complications.
Teams also support a health clinic near the formal and informal IDP camps in Muna on the outskirts of Maiduguri, which provide primary medical care to children under the age of 5, with a focus on malnutrition treatment, as well as reproductive health care for pregnant women.
Within all the health facilities, mothers are trained to detect malnutrition in their children using the MUAC bracelet.
ALIMA projects in Nigeria are funded by OFDA, ECHO, the French government and UNICEF.