Returnees mothers from CAR stepping up for their children
7,000 Central African Republic (CAR) returnees live in the site of Djako, in Southern Chad where the level of severe acute malnutrition is particularly high. United Nations Central Emergency Fund (CERF) is supporting the humanitarian response in Southern Chad to address malnutrition, a relief for these mothers.
“My husband left to work so I do my best to take care of my children alone by growing vegetables and sweet potatoes. When my son got sick, I took him to the health center in Dodinda and the nurse told me he was malnourished. Luckily, at the health centre, they took good care of him.” Fatou Adamou, 28 and Idriss, 11 months.
In Southern Chad, population influx puts additional pressure on already limited resources and chronic poverty. The lack of access to basic services makes communities extremely vulnerable. Returnees from CAR, are a particular risk.
“My husband left right after my daughter was born to find a job, he only saw her once. She fell sick and 3 months ago was treated for severe acute malnutrition. Now, I have to take care of my daughter alone and all the help I can get is precious. All I want is my child to be healthy.” Zara Adamou, 26, Rihanatou, 10 months.
UNICEF and its partners are committed to scaling up and sustaining coverage of its current high-impact nutrition interventions and expects to treat 193,000 children suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition in 2017.
“I’m her grandmother but she stays with me. In our tradition, the grandmother has to take care of their daughter’s elder child. My husband and my daughter’s husband have gone to follow their herd. Thanks to the treatment she got in the health centre, she quickly recovered,” Halimé Hamadou, 30, Fabila Idrissa, 1.
Thanks to the support of the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), UNICEF has provided life-saving assistance to affected children and strengthened the capacity of health facilities to deliver quality nutrition services. The provision of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food has also contributed to reduce malnutrition-related mortality and morbidity in children under five years of age.
Building the resilience of communities through investment in prevention — across all sectors — is crucial to reduce levels of malnutrition. Supporting in education, promotion of infant and young child feeding, breastfeeding, care practices and social norms, family spacing, improved healthcare quality and access, water, and sanitation are necessary to impact the caseload of malnutrition.