Search Site: OnlineNigeria

Close






Severe child malnutrition hits Nigeria's far north

Posted by on 2005/07/26 | Views: 1203 |

Severe child malnutrition hits Nigeria's far north


Hundreds of children in northern Nigeria, close to the Niger border, are suffering from severe malnutrition brought on by measles, drought and rising food prices, relief organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said. MSF, or Doctors Without Borders,

Hundreds of children in northern Nigeria, close to the Niger border, are suffering from severe malnutrition brought on by measles, drought and rising food prices, relief organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said. MSF, or Doctors Without Borders, is feeding more than 600 children under the age of five at an emergency centre set up three weeks ago in the far northern state of Katsina. Dozens more badly malnourished children are arriving every day. Some of the children are in a life-threatening condition.

Katsina borders Niger, where millions of people are starving after drought and a plague of locusts devastated crops.

Unlike Niger, which has few resources, Nigeria exports billions of dollars' worth of crude oil each year. However, Nigeria's population of 140 million, by far the biggest in Africa, means income per capita is among the lowest in the world. The drought that hurt Niger's cereal production also affected 2004 harvests in the northern belt of Nigeria, resulting in low food stocks and rising prices. An outbreak of measles compounded the problem. "It's comparable to what is going on in Niger...but it is not possible for us to draw a link at this stage, we are still collecting data," said Fabien Schneider, the head of the French section of MSF in Nigeria, which is running the centre.

MSF first became aware there was a problem in Katsina when badly malnourished Nigerian children started arriving at a feeding centre across the border in Niger. "Measles hit extremely hard in Katsina this year and a great many children were affected," Schneider said. "This appears to have aggravated the situation in an area where there is chronic malnutrition," he added.

People ill with measles, a recurrent disease in many parts of Nigeria, require a lot of protein to help their organisms fight the disease and children whose diets contain little protein can quickly become malnourished. The staple foods in northern Katsina are millet and sorghum. Most diets are high in carbohydrates, but low in protein and fat.

Nigeria has routine immunisation programmes against measles, but the government, the UN children's fund, Unicef, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) are planning a large-scale vaccination campaign to boost immunisation across the country.

The campaign starts on December 6, ahead of the high transmission season, in three northern zones including Katsina, a WHO spokesperson said. Schneider said the situation in Katsina is heterogeneous, making it hard to analyse the roots of the problem. "You can go to one village and you'll find the children are plump and well, and in another one a few hundred metres away you'll find the children are malnourished," he said. - Reuters

Read Full Story Here.... :
Leave Comment Here :



Add Comment

* Required information
1000
Captcha Image

Comments (13)

Gravatar
New
Ikheloa Ezekiel(Ekpoma, Edo, Nigeria)says...

Ikheloa is a Nigeria native name it given to people from esan in edo state which means caretaker

Gravatar
New
Willemsays...

No freaken way, how the hell do i hear the airtime balance update on my phone from the other caller, or maybe it was put on loudspeaker

Gravatar
New
Ulunma akor(Imo, Lagos, Nigeria)says...

Ulunma means beautiful second daughter

Gravatar
New
PAPA JAMES(US)says...

Do You Need A Powerful Africa Native Doctor? I Mean A Spiritual Herbalist

With Great Spirit Connected To Ancestors. Call +2349053014785 Dr omonzokpia

James Is A High Voodoo Priest Master. He is a Spell Caster, Native

Doctor, Spiritual Herbalist, Powerful Sickle cell Healer, Spiritual

Astrologer, Psychic Reader, Multi Guru, Witch Doctor, Priest Of Africa

Money Ritual

Gravatar
New
Kim Worley(Greeley, Colorado, US)says...

I heard this in a song and had no idea what it meant. Googled it and this came up. Very Cool. ????????????????