News / Africa

Urgent Treatment Needed For Malnourished Children In Sahel

Zara Mahamat, suffering from malnutrition, receives treatment in an intensive care tent at the hospital in N'Gouri, a desert village in Chad, April 18, 2012.
Zara Mahamat, suffering from malnutrition, receives treatment in an intensive care tent at the hospital in N'Gouri, a desert village in Chad, April 18, 2012.
Lisa Schlein
GENEVA — The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reports many severely malnourished children in West Africa’s Sahel region are at risk of dying if they do not receive special therapeutic feeding.  UNICEF says between one and 1.5 million children are expected to require life-saving treatment for this condition in Niger, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Burkina Faso. 
 
Critical need for aid

International aid agencies report the situation is particularly critical in Niger where an estimated 400,000 children are expected to require life-saving treatment for severe, acute malnutrition this year.
 
UNICEF says children in the Sahel are particularly weakened because of an upsurge in cholera, the conflict in northern Mali, food shortages and an invasion of locusts from northwest Africa, which is disrupting the summer planting season.
 
Acute malnourished

UNICEF spokesman, Patrick McCormick, says all these factors are creating a particularly dangerous situation for children in Niger.  He says on average, 1,000 new cases of severely acutely malnourished children under age five are being admitted to treatment centers every day. 
 
He says UNICEF is running dozens of therapeutic feeding programs throughout the Sahel that are proving to be extremely effective. “If a child is severely acutely malnourished and gets the right treatment in a very short space of time.  We are talking about 24 hours, that child will survive," McCormick stated. "If not, that child will die.  We have actually traced a child that went through one of our treatment centers and is fine now, having gone through the treatment.  It works.  But, it is very expensive.”  
 
UNICEF and other aid agencies are hampered by a lack of funds.  So far, UNICEF has received only $93 million of the $238 million it needs for its humanitarian operations in the Sahel this year.

Vital operations, under-funded
 
Organization of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs spokesman Jens Laerke says funding for all U.N. agencies is in trouble.  He notes the $1.6 billion consolidated U.N. appeals for five Sahelian countries is about half financed, which is not bad.
 
But he notes most of the contributions are earmarked for food and other life-saving emergencies.  While this is important, he notes other vital operations are seriously under-funded.
 
“Education.  Across the five appeals, which asked for a relatively modest $18 million is seven percent funded.  The health sector, which asked for $65 million is 17 percent funded.  The WASH sector [water, sanitation and hygiene] critical for combating cholera asked $53 million is 21 percent funded.  A fourth sector, which is also critical because we have conflict and insecurity in the area is protection, human rights, rule of law, which asked for $43 million is 20 percent funded,” Laerke explained.  
 
Laerke calls the seven percent funding for education particularly deplorable.  He says it is absolutely critical to have money for emergency education.  He says keeping children in school can help them go through this humanitarian crisis. 
 

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regreti
X
Zana Omer
March 28, 2015 1:19 AM
The Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

The Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Virginia Tavern Takes Patrons Back to Medieval Times

European martial arts are not widely practiced and are unknown by most people. A tavern in Old Town Alexandria, outside Washington, wants to change this by promoting these fighting techniques from medieval times. Through combining visual arts, martial arts and culinary arts, this tavern brings medieval history back to life. VOA's Yang Lin and Helen Wu report.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More