In Chad, one child in seven dies before their fifth birthday. Malnutrition is one of the main causes of high child mortality in this central African country.
The food emergency is acute every year during what’s known as the lean season, a period from May to September when the combination of dry weather and low food stocks means hundreds of thousands of people across the Sahel region have very little to eat. The United Nations estimated that 900,000 people in Chad would be affected by severe food insecurity during this year’s lean season. Some experts say that the current lean season could be the worst in six years for Chad because of an early April start.
Treating the most vulnerable
Since 2006, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has worked in eastern Chad at Am Timan hospital in the pediatric ward. This year, by the end of May, the nutritional feeding center run by MSF was already over its capacity of 60 beds, with 325 malnourished children admitted that month alone.