Life hanging by a thread
UNICEF and partners race against time to assist 244,000 malnourished children in northeast Nigeria.
The true scale of the humanitarian crisis in Borno state is becoming clear, as areas formerly under the control of Boko Haram open up. Some 49,000 children will die of malnutrition if they are not treated. A simple 8-week course of therapeutic food can save their lives. UNICEF calls for global support for the resources necessary to reach all children with the care they need.
Families are unable to farm their land or access markets and children are missing out on essential nutrients. The violence across northeast Nigeria has affected every aspect of daily life, with urgent lifesaving assistance needed. Children queue in a camp for displaced people in Banki.
Ready-to-use therapeutic food to treat severe malnutrition and high nutritional supplements can make the difference between life and death. UNICEF and partners are scaling up work within Maiduguri city and in more remote areas. Ready-to-use therapeutic food is delivered in Banki.
UNICEF supports local health clinics, including in displaced persons camps, to screen and treat children for malnutrition. Improving local health care not only saves children’s lives now but in the years to come. A health clinic in a camp for displaced people in Maiduguri.
“Without our medical intervention a lot of these children here would have died,” says Aisha, a 25-year old health worker, as she screens six year old Ajija who has severe acute malnutrition.
Reaching children like Ajija early is critical to provide the treatment they need to recover.
Ajija follows up her screening with vitamin A drops and a course of ready-to-use therapeutic food. As an outpatient, between visits she needs access to safe water and sanitation, while avoiding childhood illnesses and the threat of malaria that would seriously complicate her recovery.