In Madagascar, teams from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) are witnessing an alarming rate of malnutrition in southeastern districts. Families there are dealing with a triple crisis of food insecurity, malaria, and extreme weather events like Cyclone Freddy, which hit the country earlier this year and killed 17 people. In response, MSF increased malnutrition activities, consultations, and support to communities by expanding medical coverage to new locations in some of the hardest-to-reach areas.
Madagascar remains one of the countries most at risk of climate change and has experienced a series of cyclones—including Cyclone Freddy, which was the longest-lasting cyclone in history—that have worsened health problems for many vulnerable communities.
Between January and April, as flooding has ruined swaths of agricultural fields, over 1,200 children under five years old suffering from severe acute malnutrition were admitted to MSF-supported treatment centers. Around 75 percent of these children also had malaria. Children who are malnourished and have weakened immune systems are more susceptible to contracting other illnesses like malaria.