The southern region of Madagascar, a country off the southeastern coast of Africa, is facing a severe nutrition crisis, with some 74,000 children reported to be acutely malnourished. With the area’s health system overwhelmed, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been running mobile clinics to 17 different locations, and, in partnership with local authorities, teams have set up an inpatient center for children with acute malnutrition in Ambovombe hospital. More than 4,300 children have been treated since late March.
The area is facing its worst drought in 30 years. Deforestation, sandstorms, and other environmental issues have resulted in failed crops and no source of income for many people. MSF is also providing food aid, but more is urgently needed. The COVID-19 pandemic has further complicated the situation, making it harder to transport personnel and supplies. “We suspect the crisis is going to last and that it might get worse during the year,” said MSF Head of Mission Ricardo Fernandez. “We’ll be staying a bit longer than we thought."