Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) says it has treated 4,339 people suffering from moderate or severe acute malnutrition in over three months in southern Madagascar.

Development Diaries reports that since March 2021, the humanitarian organisation, also known as Doctors Without Borders, has been setting up mobile clinics that deliver screening and treatment for acute malnutrition in more than 15 sites in Anôsy and Androy regions.

It is understood that MSF teams have now begun distributing food and recently opened an inpatient therapeutic feeding centre in the hospital in the town of Ambovombe.

More than 1.4 million people, according to the United Nations (UN), are grappling with food insecurity, with thousands of children severely ill.

According to MSF, the current acute food and nutrition crisis can be attributed to the recent fall in food production across the region.

Since October 2020, the government of Madagascar and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) have assisted around 750,000 people through general food distribution combined with the distribution of supplementary food for the prevention of moderate acute malnutrition in children under five as well as pregnant and nursing women.

With food production projected to fall 70 percent below the last five-year average, there are concerns that the food crisis could deteriorate further.

However, through the establishment of mobile clinics for treating malnutrition and other medical complication, MSF emergency teams have begun the distribution of food rations to families to help them restore access to food.

Each ration is said to contain approximately 66 kilogrammes of rice, beans, oil, and salt, with a ration expected to last at least one month.

‘We are seeing malnourished children struggle to regain weight after weeks of treatment in our mobile clinics’, said MSF’s Head of Emergency Programmes, Berengere Guais, in a statement.

‘The medical care we provide and the half-rations different organisations have been distributing are not enough to reverse the trend in a setting where there is so little access to food.

‘A massive increase in emergency food assistance is an absolute priority’.

MSF, it is understood, has also partnered with local authorities to launch the construction of an inpatient therapeutic feeding centre in a hospital in Ambovombe.

Source: MSF

Photo source: iAko M. Randrianarivelo/MSF


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