North East Nigeria: over 1.3 million children under five likely acutely malnourished
The acute malnutrition situation in North East Nigeria is classified as Alert (IPC Phase 2) or Serious (IPC Phase 3) in many areas during the current period of January to April 2022 (season of low acute malnutrition), with 1 of the areas analyzed being in IPC Acute Malnutrition (AMN) Phase 1, 8 areas in IPC Phase 2 and 1 area in IPC Phase 3. Over 1.3 million children under the age of five are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition between January and December 2022 (based on the GAM by WHZ prevalence estimates). This includes approximately 316,753 severe acute malnutrition (SAM) cases and over one million moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) cases. In addition, over 152,000 pregnant and lactating women will be acutely malnourished and need nutrition interventions.
Result of the IPC AMN analysis shows that during the post-harvest season (low acute malnutrition), only two (2) Local Government Areas (LGAs) are classified in Serious situation (IPC AMN Phase 3), fifty-four (54) LGAs in Alert situation (IPC AMN Phase 2), and five (5) LGAs in Acceptable situation (IPC AMN Phase 1) ) during the period of January – April 2022. During the first projection (May – August 2022), the lean season (peak of acute malnutrition), the nutrition situation of 31 LGAs is expected to deteriorate, whereas the situation of 30 LGAs is expected to remain the same when compared to the current situation. As per the second projection Period (September – December 2022), the harvest season (decreasing acute malnutrition), the nutrition situation is expected to improve in nine (9) LGAs, remaining the same in forty-two (42) LGAs and deteriorate in ten (10) LGAs when compared to the first projection period.
The major contributing factors as immediate causes of acute malnutrition include very poor food consumption patterns (quantity and quality). Morbidity seems not to be a major contributing factor for the current period (low seasonality of diseases (diarrhea, malaria and fever). The underlying causes include food insecurity due to poor access to land and livelihoods especially in Borno State. Population displacements arising from insecurity which limits agriculture activities and the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Borno and Yobe. Also the sub-optimal care and feeding practices due to instable situation. Finally, prevailing poor access to improved sanitation facilities.