49,000 mal­nour­ished chil­dren risk death in Borno — UNICEF

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Olayemi John-Men­sah

An es­ti­mated 49,000 of the 244,000 chil­dren suf­fer­ing from se­vere mal­nu­tri­tion in Borno State face high risk of death if not quickly reached by rel­e­vant agen­cies, the United Na­tions In­ter­na­tional Chil­dren’s Emer­gency Fund (UNICEF) said yes­ter­day.

UNICEF Re­gional Di­rec­tor for West and Cen­tral Africa, Manuel Fon­taine, said in a state­ment that 134 chil­dren on the av­er­age would die ev­ery day from causes linked to acute mal­nu­tri­tion if there is no quick re­sponse.

“We need all part­ners and donors to step for­ward to pre­vent more chil­dren from dy­ing. No one can take on a cri­sis of this scale alone,” he said.

Fon­taine said there were two mil­lion peo­ple they still could not reach in Borno State, mean­ing that the true scope of the cri­sis was yet to be re­vealed.

While vis­it­ing newly ac­ces­si­ble sites, pre­vi­ously un­der Boko Haram con­trol, Fon­taine wit­nessed de­stroyed towns ac­com­mo­dat­ing dis­placed peo­ple with lit­tle ac­cess to ad­e­quate san­i­ta­tion, wa­ter or food and thou­sands of frail chil­dren in des­per­ate need of help.

He added that UNICEF was work­ing with part­ners to screen and treat chil­dren and im­prove ac­cess to wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion.

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