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Alarming’ Levels Of Child Malnutrition In Chad

UN Urges Immediate Action To Tackle ‘Alarming’ Levels Of Child Malnutrition In Chad

New York, Nov 7 2008 10:10AM

The United Nations has called for urgent action after a new survey found “alarming” levels of malnutrition among children under five in the western part of Chad, a country that is grappling with humanitarian crises on several fronts.

The survey released yesterday, conducted under the leadership of the non-governmental organization (NGO) Action Contre la Faim, found that one in five children in that age group suffer from global acute malnutrition.

“These results are alarming,” said Kingsley Amaning, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Chad. “While the causes for such high rates of malnutrition may be of a chronic nature, it is clear that a humanitarian response is needed, and this is therefore an urgent hu῭anitarian problem that we nῥed to address.

The survey also found that the rate of severe acute malnutrition among children under five is 2.8 per cent. In addition, three children under five die every day, for every 10,000.

“The data indicate a critical threshold of malnutrition, and we need to urgently plan activities to prevent excess mortality and morbidity caused by possible outbreaks,” said Marzio Babille, Representative of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Chad.

“This requires a concerted effort together with the Government of Chad to immunise children against measles, provide vitamin A supplements, and deliver quality care for children with severe under-nutrition,” he added.

The poor, landlocked African nation is trying to deal with a number of ongoing humanitarian crises. Eastern Chad currently shelters 315,000 refugees – the majority being Sudanese escaping from the conflict in Darfur – and 180,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), all of whom depend on aid to survive.

There are also some 57,000 Central African refugees in the south of the country.


Ends

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