Chad: High malnutrition in west causes concern

News and Press Release
Originally published
(N'Djamena / New York / Geneva: 07 November 2008): Malnutrition among children under five is very high in Chad's western Kanem region, according to the results of a survey conducted under the leadership of the non-governmental organization Action Contre la Faim (ACF), released yesterday.

"These results are alarming", said Kingsley Amaning, Humanitarian Coordinator for Chad. "While the causes for such high rates of malnutrition may be of a chronic nature, it is clear that a humanitarian response is needed, and this is therefore an urgent humanitarian problem that we need to address", he added.

According to the survey, global acute malnutrition (GAM) among children under five is 20%, including a rate of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) of 2.8%. Every day, three children under five die, for every 10,000.

"The data indicate a critical threshold of malnutrition, and we need to urgently plan activities to prevent excess mortality and morbidity caused by possible outbreaks", said Marzio Babille, Representative of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in the landlocked African nation. "This requires a concerted effort together with the Government of Chad, to immunise children against measles, provide vitamin A supplements, and provide quality care for children with severe under-nutrition", he added.

Chad is already experiencing grave humanitarian crises. They concern over 315,000 Sudanese and Central African refugees and nearly 180,000 IDPs, who are heavily reliant on humanitarian aid for their survival. Except for approximately 57,000 Central African refugees in the south, all IDPs and Sudanese refugees live in the arid lands of eastern Chad.

For further information, please contact:

Maurizio Giuliano, Public Information Officer, United Nations, N'Djamena
Email: Tel: +235-6053892

Katy Thiam, Associate Information Officer, United Nations, Abéché, Chad
Email: Tel: +235-6201542

Claire Mulanga, Coach of the inter-agency Information and Communication Group, United Nations, N'Djamena, Chad Email: Tel: +235-2520940

Stephanie Bunker, Spokesperson, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), New York Email: Tel: +1-917-3675126

Elizabeth Byrs, Spokesperson, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Geneva Email: Tel: +41-22-9172653

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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