Children in Nigeria Face Catastrophic Malnutrition, Warns MSF

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has warned of an impending catastrophe if immediate action is not taken as unprecedented numbers of malnourished children are in need of lifesaving treatment in northeast Nigeria.

The number of malnourished child admissions since the start of 2023 is the highest ever recorded by MSF teams in Borno State for the period preceding the annual 'hunger gap' when food stocks from the previous harvest traditionally run out and malnutrition levels peak.

Malnutrition is a long-standing problem in Maiduguri due to years of conflict and insecurity, leading to a critical humanitarian situation. The displacement of people from their homes has resulted in precarious living conditions in informal sites, host communities, and detention camps.

MSF is responding to a malnutrition emergency in Maiduguri and also addressing significant health and malnutrition crises in other parts of northwest Nigeria. They treated 147,860 children with severe acute malnutrition in the previous year. It urges the authorities and aid organisations to improve living conditions in transit camps and expand people's access to healthcare.


Zarah takes care of her five-month old twins who are receiving treatment for malnutrition at the Nilefa Kiji nutrition centre in Maiduguri. Nigeria, April 2023.

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