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More than one million children acutely malnourished in north-east Nigeria

Govt. Nigeria
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Over one million children acutely malnourished in North East Nigeria


Over one million children in North East Nigeria are expected to be acutely malnourished, including over 600,000 facing severe malnutrition, who may die if nothing is done. Over 123,000 pregnant or lactating women are also expected to suffer from acute malnutrition. Conflict and insecurity, as key drivers of the situation, are expected to further deteriorate the situation, leading to decreased food accessibility, possible outbreaks of acute watery diarrhoea, measles, and malaria. The nutrition situation may also be negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on socio-economic factors.

Actions Needed

Immediate/short term recommendations

  • Ensure adequate treatment for all children affected by acute malnutrition in all areas.
  • Scale up treatment of acute malnutrition (SAM and MAM) for children in hard to reach areas and areas with low coverage, especially in Yobe and Adamawa states.
  • Strengthen the screening and referral pathways, including scaling up of the “mother MUAC’ approach to promote early detection of acute malnutrition.
  • Improve the quality programming for IYCF interventions focusing on exclusive breastfeeding, continued breastfeeding and optimal complementary feeding practices using locally available nutritious foods.
  • Scale up programmes targeting maternal and young child diets through promotion of household food fortification and cash and voucher programming to improve the proportion of children having a Minimum Acceptable Diet (MAD).
  • Improve immunization coverage for measles and polio antigens and Vitamin A and micronutrient powder supplementation.
  • Strengthen the integration of WASH interventions in services including water provision, soap distribution and promotion of appropriate hygiene practices.

Medium to long-term recommendations

  • Strengthen the integration of CMAM activities into the existing health system including technical capacity building of health workers.
  • Scale up livelihood support activities for households by promoting income generating, home gardening and household food security interventions that aim to reduce poverty at household level.
  • Adopt a multi-sectoral integrated approach to addres the deteriorating nutrition situation.
  • Promote synergy and data collection by stakeholders to provide adequate information for evidence-based IPC AMN analysis.
  • For the four inaccessible LGAs with no information for conducting IPC AMN analysis, consider collecting data using the IPC guidance for data collection in areas with limited or no humanitarian access.