NEW YORK/ABUJA, Nigeria, July 7, 2022—International aid organizations are largely ignoring a growing malnutrition crisis in northwestern Nigeria, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today, warning that health facilities need far greater resources to provide lifesaving treatment to tens of thousands of children.
So far this year, MSF teams have worked in partnership with Nigerian health authorities in the five northwestern states of Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, and Kano to treat more than 50,000 children with malnutrition, including 7,000 who required hospital care. The situation will soon become untenable without increased lifesaving humanitarian support, MSF warns.
"The hunger gap has begun, and the peak of malaria transmission is yet to come, which will further aggravate the health and nutritional status of children," said Michel-Olivier Lacharité, head of MSF emergency operations. “Despite our calls in recent months to both humanitarian organizations and authorities to scale up medical activities, we have not seen the mobilization needed to avert a devastating nutrition crisis. Acknowledging the acute needs of these children is long overdue, and we strongly urge making lifesaving support a priority now.”