To fight the double threat of malnutrition and malaria in Niger, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) works at the community level, providing home care with so-called "malaria agents," people from the villages trained to diagnose and treat simple malaria.
Residents of a village in Central African Republic have no access to medical care due to recent violence. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has arrived there to provide medical care but is worried about levels of malaria, a potential nutrition crisis, and the lack of antiretrovirals for people living with HIV.
In Mali, one in five children don't live to see their fifth birthday. Acute malnutrition affects around 10 percent of children under the age of five. Malaria is still the leading cause of child mortality in the country, with pneumonia a close second. However, there are now straightforward measures for preventing and treating these diseases. In Konseguela, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is running a pediatric program in partnership with the Ministry of Health. This project incorporates prevention into a comprehensive health care program targeting the main causes of child mortality.
A coup d'état in March drives all existing health workers out of Benzambe village; clinics are looted, and the community is left with no health care during malaria season. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) works to test and treat everyone in this remote part of Central African Republic.
When she saw that her two-year-old daughter was ill, Nyota's mother brought her to the MSF clinic in Nyasi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where she was diagnosed with and treated for malaria. Malaria is the leading cause of illness and death in DRC. Last year, MSF treated half a million people in DRC suffering from the deadly disease. Read more at www.doctorswithoutborders.org and follow MSF's work in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Twitter @MSFCongo
For the first time, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is employing seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) in Chad and Mali. 170,000 children aged between three months and five years received anti-malaria medicines during the peak transmission season. This treatment, recommended by the World Health Organization, will not eradicate malaria definitively. But in countries like Chad and Mali, where malaria is the first cause of infant and child mortality, it does have an important role to play in emergency situations.
The pediatric unit in Niger's Guidan Roumji hospital is overwhelmed. Since the beginning of the year, MSF has treated close to 69,000 malnourished children and 175,000 cases of malaria. Southern Niger is still rife with malnutrition. In July, torrential rains destroyed crops and grain reserves. During the rainy season, malaria-transmitting mosquitoes proliferate. And malnourished children, already weak, run a higher risk of developing a severe form of malaria.
This month, we visit the Ubangi river, where MSF is treating yaws among the Pygmy population; Niger, where the rainy season and food insecurity have exacerbated malaria and malnutrition; and Sri Lanka, where after 32 years MSF is handing over its last remaining project and leaving the country. Additionally, learn about the court case Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis has brought against India, the "pharmacy of the developing world."
A food crisis is affecting an estimated 18 million people across Africa's Sahel region right now, including in Niger, where four million children are projected to suffer from acute malnutrition, with at least one million at risk of developing severe acute malnutrition. At the same time, 80 percent of children who come to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) clinics in Niger test positive for malaria. MSF is trying to reach those who need help the most.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has recorded a three-fold increase in patients with malaria in parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since 2009. MSF teams are seeing alarming numbers of malaria patients this year as well, and have launched an emergency response.