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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

KENYAN CHILDREN FACE SEVERE MALNUTRITION


Can a child think of where her next meal is coming from? A severe drought in Kenya puts children lives in danger

Can a child think of where her next meal is coming from? A severe drought in Kenya puts children lives in danger



New survey reveals alarming malnutrition rates in Turkana, East Pokot, Mandera, Samburu, and West Pokot 




Nearly 73,000 children in Kenya are severely malnourished and at risk of dying from drought-related hunger unless urgent aid is made immediately available.

The warning comes as results from joint nutrition assessments conducted by the County Departments of Health and UNICEF, and nine aid organisations working on the ground—including Save the Children—are revealed.

The survey shows that in Turkana alone, severe acute malnutrition rates—the most life-threatening form of hunger—are up nearly four-fold in just one year, from 2.3% to 8.3%. In Turkana South, an unprecedented 12% of children under five now suffer from severe acute malnutrition. 

The assessments also reveal alarmingly high severe acute malnutrition rates in East Pokot (5.8%), Mandera (5.2%), Samburu (3.8%), and West Pokot (3.2%). These counties have also seen an extreme deterioration in nutrition and food security.

Following the general election two weeks ago, the aid organisations are urgently calling on the national and local governments—who are leading on the drought response, in coordination with aid agencies—to prioritise critical funds and support for the response. 

This includes food programmes to reach the most vulnerable and prevent needless deaths. 

“The drought has left tens of thousands of children and families—including the most vulnerable under five, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers—in a life-threatening situation,” said Francis Woods, Save the Children’s Interim Country Director in Kenya

‘’The overall nutrition situation continues to be of great concern, including deteriorations recorded in some counties. The situation is likely to worsen as we enter the lean and short rains season,’’ said Patrick Mweki, Action Against Hunger Country Director for Kenya and Somalia.


“The recent elections must be used as an opportunity to reverse the tragedy unfolding in many parts of the country. We urge the new national and county governments to act now to prevent children from dying.”



Source: Save the Children

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