Haiti - Health : More than 115,600 children could suffer from severe acute malnutrition in 2023 - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7

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Haiti - Health : More than 115,600 children could suffer from severe acute malnutrition in 2023
12/05/2023 08:52:04

Haiti - Health : More than 115,600 children could suffer from severe acute malnutrition in 2023
A standardized monitoring and evaluation survey of the relief and transition phases conducted this year in the area of nutrition, indicates that child malnutrition is on the rise in Haiti in the grip of violence, a worsening of food insecurity and to an epidemic outbreak of cholera. More than 115,600 children (+32%) could thus suffer from severe acute malnutrition (severe wasting) in 2023, against 87,500 last year, warned UNICEF on Thursday, May 11, 2023.

In several towns in the metropolitan region of Port-au-Prince, ravaged by armed violence for more than two years, one child in five currently has some form of malnutrition. It is in the capital that children pay the heaviest price, with many municipalities showing high or even very high rates of severe wasting.

The West department, the area most affected by the conflict, has an acute malnutrition rate of 7.5%, which is two percentage points higher than the national average.

"In Haiti, more and more parents are no longer able to feed their children properly and provide them with the appropriate care, and the terrible escalation of violence perpetrated by armed groups prevents them from going to health centers," declared Bruno Maes, UNICEF Representative in Haiti.

This malnutrition crisis is further aggravated by the ongoing cholera epidemic, which particularly affects children suffering from severe wasting. More than 41,000 suspected cases of cholera have been identified in Haiti, including 46% in children under the age of 14. As disease ravages neighborhoods plagued by violence, cholera and malnutrition add a double burden that the national health system is unable to cope with due to severe staff shortages and a lack of of supplies.

Nearly one in four children in Haiti also suffers from chronic malnutrition (or stunting), a pathology that leaves long-term sequelae. Indeed, poor health and malnutrition prevent stunted children from fully developing their physical and cognitive abilities.

Without the urgent and large-scale deployment of child nutrition and survival interventions aimed at reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with severe wasting, as well as preventing the onset of new cases malnutrition, the situation is likely to deteriorate further by October 2023.

UNICEF urgently needs US$17 million to fund the early stages of the response. A funding shortfall could jeopardize the immediate survival of more than 100,000 children.

In order to be able to provide, in 2023, vital goods and services to children and vulnerable populations struggling with insecurity and the health, social and economic crises raging in Haiti, it is essential that UNICEF perceives in due time the 210.3 million US dollars having been the subject of a call for funds https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-39249-haiti-news-zapping.html .

A sum which, to date, has only been financed up to 15%.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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