40 000 children have received treatment for malnutrition in the Sahel belt of Chad thanks to UNICEF UK support
« I did not know what to do when Amir got sick. A neighbour gave me a traditional medicine made of ash and roots, but I called my husband and he told me to go to the health centre directly. I was right to trust the doctors, he’s much better now.” Salma Safia, Amir’s mother, is 17 and lives in the remote village of Andour, in the Sahel Belt of Chad.
“His father left a few months ago. They say there is gold up north so he went there and is working in mines. Since then, life has become difficult for us. When Amir got sick we went to the health centre nearby and they took us straightaway to the hospital with an ambulance. He could not sit, eat or sleep when we arrived here. It’s been only two days, but he’s feeling much better already, » she says, smiling.
Thanks to the support of the United Kingdom UNICEF National Committee, UNICEF has provided life-saving assistance to affected children and strengthened the capacity of health facilities to deliver quality nutrition services. The provision of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food has also contributed to reduce malnutrition-related mortality and morbidity in children under five years of age.
Refugees in the East have also been reached
Zouha Issa, 7, and her sister Amina, 17 months, were born from Sudanese refugees parents living in the Mile Refugee camp in Eastern Chad where 382,500 refugees are still living in harsh conditions. Recently, Zouhas’s sister, Amina, was treated for Severe Acute Malnutrition with Medical complications. She’s now feeling better and Zouha can play with her sister again.
“When Amina got sick, the doctor of the health centre called an ambulance to take us to the hospital. It was the first time I was in a car. Unfortunately, the car got stuck in the water – it was the rainy season. It took us one day to get to the hospital,” Zouha explains.
“After a few days, she started feeling better. They gave her many medicines and milk. She took some weight and she stopped crying all the time. Now we’re back home, we have breakfast together and I can play with her again,” she concludes.
Thanks to the UK National Committee contribution of US$ 135,533.63 and additional resources mobilized, UNICEF Chad has been able to provide the much needed support to the Ministry of Health to scale up the management of severe acute malnutrition. Additionally, this support made it possible to purchase and distribution of over 1,900 cartons of Ready-to-use-therapeutic food which have helped to provide timely and quality treatment to children suffering from SAM.
Over 43,557 children have been treated in the target regions of Ouaddaï, Wadi Fira and Hadjer Lamis in 2016. Furthermore, 31 health professionals were trained on management of SAM while more than 50,000 mothers and caregivers benefited from the community mobilization and sensitization campaigns.