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Emergency in Niger: MSF Operations Overview
August 8, 2005
Between January 1 and the beginning of August 2005, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) admitted 16,000 severely malnourished children to the feeding centers. The rhythm of admissions has accelerated, with an average of 1,000 children entering the feeding centers per week since the month of June, increasing to 1,600 per week at the end of July. For the whole of 2005, MSF expects to treat approximately 30,000 children suffering from severe malnutrition. Last year, 10,000 children in Maradi were admitted to feeding centers.
In Niger, MSF is operating in the regions of Maradi, Tahoua, and Zinder where it is treating children suffering from severe malnutrition* and bringing food and medical aid to children suffering from moderate malnutrition*.
To successfully carry out its projects, MSF has mobilized 70 international aid workers and 600 local staff. For the whole of 2005, MSF plans to distribute 8,450 tons of food, and the provisional budget of this emergency operation amounts to 9 million euros.
Severe malnutrition: 16,000 children already admitted
MSF is currently operating six intensive nutritional rehabilitation centers (TFC or CRENI - Centre de Récuperation Nutritionelle Intensive) and 33 outpatient therapeutic feeding programs where we treat children suffering from severe malnutrition. The Maradi center was opened in 2001, while the centers in Aguié, Dakoro, Tahoua, Keita, and Zinder have progressively been opening since May 2005 to cope with the emergency.
Between January 1 and beginning of August 2005, MSF admitted 16,000 severely malnourished children to the feeding centers. The rhythm of admissions has accelerated, with an average of 1,000 children entering per week since the month of June, increasing to 1,600 per week at the end of July. For the whole of 2005, we expect to treat approximately 30,000 children suffering from severe malnutrition. Last year, 10,000 children were admitted to the CRENI in Maradi.
Most Recent Admissions and Children Currently Treated By MSF for Severe Malnutrition:
Children admitted to our centers receive specialized food (therapeutic milk, Plumpy Nut®) and medical care. In addition, families of these children benefit from food distributions: during admissions, they receive a "protection ration" of 25 kilograms of Unimix (vitamin and mineral enriched flour) and 5 liters of oil.
When a child leaves the program, the family receives a discharge ration of 85 kilos of food (50kgs of millet, 25kgs of beans, and 10 liters of oil). According to our estimates, in 2005 the total quantities distributed to children suffering from severe malnutrition in our centers will reach:
4,500 tons of food to be distributed MSF has decided to reinforce operations by organizing targeted food distributions to bring aid to children under five suffering from moderate malnutrition, and to other children at risk (those measuring less than 65 centimeters). In addition, five pediatric care units - within close proximity to the CRENI - are being opened to provide medical care to moderately malnourished or at-risk children.
In terms of food aid, the objective is to distribute - once a month for three months – 25 kilograms of Unimix and five liters of oil to 50,000 children in the areas where MSF is operating. From now to the end of the year, the total quantities distributed should reach:
* A person suffers from acute moderate malnutrition when their weight-to-height ratio is between 70 and 80% of the normal. A person suffers from acute severe malnutrition when their weight-to-height ratio is below 70% of the normal. Acute global malnutrition covers severe and moderate malnutrition.