Child Mortality Rate at critical level in Southern Chad, SMART study reveals

News and Press Release
Originally published

Severity of situation reconfirms importance of World Vision Chad’s redefined strategy to fight malnutrition

N’Djamena, Chad, March 5, 2013 – A recent study jointly conducted by the Chadian Centre National de Nutrition et de Technologie Alimentaire du Ministère de la Santé Publique (CNNTA-MSP), the European Community Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO–Tchad), and UNICEF, has revealed a critical rates of mortality among children in seven regions of Southern Chad.

This research, based on Standardized Monitoring Assessment Relief Transitions (SMART) methodology, was carried by the Government of Chad and its health partners operating in the country at the end of the year 2012. Its goal was to provide additional information on malnutrition and mortality rates in Southern Chad. The results which complement the first study done for the Sahelian regions will help the government to have an overview of children’s nutritional situation countrywide.

One of the key findings demonstrates that the mortality rate of children under the age of five surpasses the emergency threshold of 2/10000/day in several areas, while rates of acute malnutrition (GAM) are well below the critical 15% mark in all seven regions. In contrast, rates of chronic malnutrition among children under five and older are above 30% in three southern regions and above 40% in a fourth one.

“We at World Vision believe that the urgent response to the child mortality situation in the country must address the most critical childhood illnesses. Providing food aid, and treating malnutrition, is simply not enough. Food availability is above average throughout the country, and malnutrition programs have been scaled up sharply, yet children under five still continue to die,” said John Scicchitano, World Vision Chad’s National Director

“Our 27 years of health efforts showed us that we should go beyond malnutrition activities if we are committed to reduce the child mortality rate in the country. Mortality rates are not principally caused by a food deficit. World Vision Chad is therefore implementing sustainable solutions that address the root causes for mortality and malnutrition, including health issues, attitudes, behaviors, and cultural practices”, John Scicchitano, National Director of World Vision Chad, continued.

World Vision, as a humanitarian aid organization with a focus on child wellbeing, sponsors more than 37,000 children in the regions of Logone Occidental, Logone Oriental, Mandoul, East Tandjile, Mayo Kebbi and part of Chari Baguirmi. The organization came to Chad in 1985 following a severe drought the previous year. Its first activities included nutrition programs under a child survival project. World Vision later adopted a holistic development approach to better meet the needs of the different partner communities. Through the regional health and education delegations, the organization has strived alongside the government to improve life conditions for children and their communities.

Chad’s Ministry of Health authorities are supportive of World Vision’s redefined strategy for the next three years, with a major emphasis on the reduction of the child mortality rate in the regions it operates.

“World Vision is a respected name among the Ministry of Health partners in the country and we are fully prepared to provide any assistance required to facilitate implementation of health measures in the country“, commented Dr Mahamat Annour Wadak, Secretary General of the Ministry of Health.

Like most humanitarians aid organizations in Chad, World Vision’s initial approach was to address acute malnutrition through Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM).

“CMAM does produce short-term impact by saving the lives of undernourished children, but it is not the answer. World Vision Chad is launching a three year campaign focusing on the prevention of malnutrition, malaria and diarrheal diseases, hygiene, and breastfeeding to inform and educate rural communities on factors and behaviors contributing to increased health risks,” John Scicchitano concludes.

About World Vision Chad

Since its first emergency response set up in 1984 following drought, World Vision has witnessed continued growth and has become one of the largest international non-governmental organizations in the country.

Nowadays, World Vision Chad has 15 Area Development Programs (ADPs) in six regions: Tandjile, Mayo Kebbi, Logone Occidental, Logone Oriental, Mandoul and Chari Baguirmi divided into five operational bases (Lai, Guelendeng, Moundou, Doba and Koumra). The FYI 2011 annual budget was about US$10 million.

Since 2005, about 45,000 children have been sponsored, enabling World Vision to serve hundreds of villages throughout Chad.

World Vision Chad’s priority areas of intervention include health, education, and water and sanitation. Its teams are focused on fostering measurable impact towards well-defined indicators in these areas to demonstrate the impact of its investments. World Vision Chad also advocates for the well-being of Chadian children both within Chad and in many countries around the world, and particularly those who sponsor its activities including Australia, Canada, Germany, Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United States.

For further information contact:

Djimte G. Salomon Communications & Advocacy Manager World Vision Chad +235 66 29 42 96
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