Archives du mot-clé malnutrition

EU donates additional €4 million to UNICEF to combat child malnutrition in Chad

N´DJAMENA (Chad), 15 December 2016 – The European Union’s humanitarian department is strengthening UNICEF’s response to the nutrition crisis in the Sahel belt in Chad with an additional funding of Euro 4 million. This new grant will support the scale-up of Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM) for 40,000 children in 632 health facilities, and ensure that additional 350 health staff have the capacity to provide quality malnutrition treatment by the end of May 2017.

“Acute malnutrition is hampering the life of thousands of children in Chad. Developing integrated approaches to address it is a proven and high impact lifesaving intervention that UNICEF will continue to support,” stated Philippe Barragne-Bigot, UNICEF Representative in Chad. “We are grateful to the EU for its continued support to scale up such interventions in Chad, especially in the Sahel Belt.”

For years, Chad Sahel belt has been dealing with pervasive food and nutrition insecurity. It is estimated that over 4.3 million people in Chad are now food insecure. In addition, many of the neighboring countries – especially Nigeria, Central African Republic and Sudan- are facing political and security turbulences that lead to population movements which place an enormous burden on the already overstretched health system.

Recent surveys have revealed a Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate of 11.7% with huge variations between regions. It is estimated that over six regions are above the emergency threshold of 15%. As a consequence, 558,000 children are estimated to be currently undernourished of which over 228,000 suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM). Besides, chronic malnutrition is a public health problem and affects thousands of children across the country.

In partnership with different stakeholders, including the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid office (ECHO), UNICEF aims to reach at least 200,000 cases of severe malnutrition to reduce morbidity and mortality resulting from recurring humanitarian crises in Chad.

« The European Union is renewing its commitment to address the urgent needs of malnourished children” said Olivier Brouant, Head of the European Commission’s humanitarian aid office in Chad. “Multiple crisis are impacting Chad, and children are the most affected. We are stepping up to help UNICEF provide life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable, to reinforce national capacities to provide quality malnutrition services, and to build the resilience of the affected communities.” The European Union is UNICEF Chad’s leading humanitarian donor and among the five most important donors of UNICEF in Chad.

In close coordination with governmental and non-governmental organizations, the project aims to implement and scale-up Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM) in 50 new therapeutic feeding centres. This will increase the coverage to a total 632 health facilities and ensure that these centres have the capacity to provide quality treatment of severe undernutrition.

The project will target 40,000 severely malnourished children in 15 priority regions, including refugee, returnee and sites for Internally Displaced Persons across the country. The provision of improved quality SAM services, stock management, reporting and information management will be reinforced through training and equipment of 350 health staff.

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Haoua Yunus and her daughter are nomads. Thanks to the EU support they have beneffited from improved SAM services.

About EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

The European Union together with its Member States are the world’s leading donor of humanitarian aid. Every year, the European Commission, through its humanitarian aid and civil protection department, helps over 120 million victims of conflict and disasters. Assistance to the most vulnerable is provided solely on the basis of humanitarian needs.

Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity towards people in need around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises.

For more information, please visit the European Commission’s humanitarian office website: http://ec.europa.eu/echo

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

To find out more about the EU-UNICEF partnership, visit http://www.unicef.org/eu/

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A major humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Africa’s Lake Chad Basin, an area that comprises parts of Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad, where violence and destruction have led to a dramatic increase in malnutrition. Local communities are doing what they can to help those in need. Download multimedia contents here: http://weshare.unicef.org/Folder/2AMZIFWEC7O

For further information, please contact:

Maria Fernandez I Chief of Communication I UNICEF Chad
+235 66 36 00 42 I mfernandez@unicef.org I www.unicef.org/chad

Isabel Coello, Regional Information Officer for North, West & Central Africa, Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), Dakar, Tel. +221 33 869 60 92, Mob. +221 77 740 92 17, Isabel.Coello@echofield.eu

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Haoua and Halimé: A victory against malnutrition

By Badre Bahaji

In a beautiful, natural landscape, and under the watchful eye of the Queen of Guera, the mountain range and the region’s visiting card, we meet Haoua, a young nomad mother who waged a battle against malnutrition and malaria, which her daughter suffered from.

Haoua, 17, is married and has a 17-month old daughter (Halimé). She welcomes us to her nomad campsite in Kadam (Ferrique Kadam), where she has settled with her family. We are close to Niergui, a village in the Sahelian region of Guéra in Chad.

Haoua’s neighbour, Ismael, tells us that « this region is very popular with nomadic families that come here during the rainy season, because of its fresh and green pastures where they can feed the cattle ». « The cultivation of cereals (mostly sorghum and maize) is another activity that ensures the survival of many families during this time of year« , Ismael adds.

Haoua takes care of her daughter, does the household chores, and grows peanuts, millet, sesame, and other cereals, which contribute to the family income. Still, the lack of a proper diet and other deficiencies have put her baby in danger.

In regards to what took her to the Niergui Health Centre the first time, Haoua says: « I went with my daughter because she had severe diarrhoea« . Encouraged by her husband and advised by a community health worker who regularly visits the Ferrique Kadam, Haoua walked for several hours with her daughter on her back to be seen at the Niergui Health Centre, located 15 Km away.

« In addition to diarrhoea, he told me that my daughter was malnourished and had malaria« , Haoua recalls the words of the nurse that attended to them at the Niergui Health Centre. Halimé was admitted and began treatment for malnutrition and malaria.

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« After receiving medication, my daughter was cured in two weeks », the mother points out in Chadian Arabic. In later visits to the health centre, Haoua was given ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) provided with support of partners such as ECHO and DFID, and took the opportunity to get therapeutic flour, which is also indicated for the replenishment of essential nutrients in children.

 « The problem is that mothers are unaware of the food needed to feed their babies and they ignore the importance of exclusively breastfeeding« , says Pambro Rigobert, the nurse who examined the nomadic baby. The nurse, who has also been head of the Niergui Health Centre since 2013, also comments on the « cultural constraints and bad habits » among the most common causes of malnutrition, recurrent in that area of the country despite the abundance of nutritious local produce.

Asked about the most common children’s cases in the Health Centre, Pambro Rigobert refers to cases of « malaria, diarrhoea, and malnutrition » coming immediately after acute respiratory infections.

In this context, the nurse stresses the importance of partners, such as ECHO and DFID,  in the reduction of child mortality, which « provide medication, food supplements, and mosquito nets impregnated with insecticide », among other materials.

These partners, the specialist continues, « also contribute in regards to the equipment used and the community health worker’s level of training – these are volunteer health workers who visit the villages to advise families and identify maternal and child health problems« . The community health workers play an essential role in providing health care to the families, both in terms of the population living in remote villages or with difficult access, and nomadic communities whose tradition dictates that a newborn should not leave the campsite during the first 40 days of life.

« We are delighted with the work of the community health workers« , says Ismael – Haoua’s neighbour – a nomadic shepherd and a father for the first time recently. Like Haoua, Ismael has settled with his family in Ferrique Kadam and grows cereals like sorghum and sesame.

Following the advice given by the community health workers, the baby is being breastfed and Ismael knows he can – and should – go to the Niergui Health Centre whenever necessary. « We are happy when we see the community health worker, we always welcome them with open arms« .

Dazzled by the scenery and the story of the triumph against malnutrition, we leave Ferrique Kadam while Haoua prepares a peanut-based porridge for Halimé who after a lot of playtime, cries out for food with a sleepy look.

The European Union’s humanitarian aid and civil protection department and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) are strengthening UNICEF response to multiple crisis in the Sahel belt in Chad with two grants of 4 500 000 and 350 000 Euro, which will support the treatment of over 45 000 severely malnourished children and the measles vaccination of close to 475 000.

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Haoua et Halimé : une victoire contre la malnutrition

 

Ferrique Kadam, 27 Août 2016. Dans un paysage naturel et sous le regard attentif de la Reine du Guéra, chaîne montagneuse et carte de visite de la région, nous rencontrons Haoua, une jeune mère nomade, qui a mené une bataille contre la malnutrition et le paludisme dont a souffert son enfant.

Haoua, 17 ans et mariée, a une fille de 17 mois (Halimé). Elle nous reçoit dans son campement nomade, dans le Ferrique Kadam, où elle s’est installée avec toute sa famille. Nous sommes près de Niergui, un village de la région sahélienne du Guéra, au Tchad.

Un voisin de Haoua, Ismael, nous raconte que « cette région est très recherchée par les familles nomades pendant la saison des pluies, pour ses pâturages frais et verdoyants où le bétail peut se nourrir ». « La culture des céréales (surtout du sorgho et du maïs) est une autre activité qui permet la survie de nombreuses familles pendant cette époque de l’année », ajoute Ismael.

Haoua prend soin de sa fille, s’occupe des tâches ménagères et cultive des arachides, du millet, du sésame et autres céréales pour subvenir aux besoins de sa famille. Néanmoins, le manque de nourriture adéquate et autres carences ont mis en danger la survie de son bébé.

Sur les raisons qui l’ont amenée au Centre de santé de Niergui pour la première fois, Haoua dit : « j’y suis allée avec ma fille parce qu’elle faisait de fortes diarrhées ». Encouragée par son mari et conseillée par un relais communautaire, qui se rend régulièrement au Ferrique Kadam, Haoua a marché plusieurs heures en portant sa fille sur le dos pour être reçue dans le Centre de santé de Niergui, situé à 15 km.

« En plus de la diarrhée, il m’a dit que ma fille était malnutrie et qu’elle était atteinte du paludisme », Haoua se souvient des paroles de l’infirmier que les a reçues au Centre de santé de Niergui.

Halimé a été admise au Centre de santé de Niergui où un traitement pour la malnutrition et le paludisme lui a été administré.

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 « Après avoir pris les médicaments, ma fille a été guérie en deux semaines », souligne la mère en arabe tchadien. Puis, lors des visites successives au Centre, Haoua a bénéficié d’aliments thérapeutiques prêts à l’emploi (ATPE) – plus connus sous le nom de « plim plim » ou « plumpy nut » -, et en a profité pour se fournir en farine thérapeutique, aliment indiqué également pour apporter les nutriments essentiels aux enfants.

« Le problème est que les mères méconnaissent les aliments nécessaires à l’alimentation des bébés et ignorent l’importance de l’allaitement maternel exclusif », nous précise Pambro Rigobert, infirmier ayant examiné le bébé nomade. Le professionnel, qui est aussi responsable du Centre de santé de Niergui depuis 2013, ajoute que « les contraintes de nature culturelle et les mauvaises habitudes » sont parmi les causes les plus communes de malnutrition, récurrente dans cette partie du pays, malgré l’abondance de produits locaux nutritifs.

Interrogé sur les cas infantiles les plus fréquents au Centre de santé, Pambro Rigobert dit que le paludisme, les diarhées et la malnutrion» sont les cas les plus fréquents après les infections respiratoires aigües.

Dans ce contexte, l’infirmier souligne l’importance des partenaires techniques et financiers (comme le Fonds Français Muskoka) dans la réduction de la mortalité infantile, qui « apportent des médicaments, suppléments alimentaires et moustiquaires imprégnées d’insecticide, entre autres matériels de soutien ».

Ces partenaires, explique le spécialiste, « contribuent également à la formation et à l’équipement de relais communautaires – agents de santé volontaires qui se rendent dans les villages pour conseiller les familles et identifier les problèmes de santé maternelle et infantile ». Les relais communautaires jouent un rôle important dans la prestation de soins de proximité, tant au niveau de la population qui vit dans des villages reculés ou difficiles d’accès, qu’au niveau des communautés nomades, dont la tradition dit qu’un nouveau-né ne doit pas abandonner le campement pendant les 40 premiers jours de vie.

« Nous sommes très contents du travail des relais communautaires », dit Ismael – voisin de Haoua – berger nomade, et récemment père pour la première fois. Tout comme Haoua, Ismael s’est installé avec sa famille dans le Ferrique Kadam et cultive des céréales comme le sorgho et le sésame.

Suivant les recommandations des relais communautaires, le bébé est nourri au sein maternel et Ismael sait qu’il peut – et doit – se rendre au Centre de santé de Niergui si nécessaire. « Nous sommes heureux quand nous voyons arriver des agents, nous les recevons toujours à bras ouverts ».

Emerveillés par le paysage et par cette histoire de victoire contre la malnutrition, nous partons de Ferrique Kadam pendant que Haoua prépare une bouillie à base de cacahouètes pour Halimé, qui après avoir beaucoup joué, réclame à manger d’un regard somnolent.

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