There is a growing humanitarian crisis in northwestern Nigeria’s Zamfara state, where attacks by armed groups have pushed people from their homes or cut them off from lifesaving medical care and other essential services. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams in the area are witnessing an alarming rise in the incidence of sexual violence and illnesses related to a lack of food, clean water, and vaccinations.
In and around Anka, where we manage a 150-bed pediatric ward in the town’s hospital and run outpatient malnutrition clinics, MSF is seeing an overwhelming number of malnourished children. The children’s weak immune systems have made them more susceptible to malaria, measles, and other diseases. “We’re having overflows in all of the wards,” said Dr. Godwin Emudanohwo, an MSF doctor at Anka General Hospital. “This is not the peak season. Things are not yet the worst, and this is how bad it is already.”