UNICEF Malawi Humanitarian Situation Report No. 10 - October 2016

Situation Report
Originally published



  • 1.8 million children ages 6 to 59 months are targeted for malnutrition screening in the next seven months, in a massive public health effort. Among children screened thus far, the proxy Global Acute Malnutrition rate is 3%; the proxy Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) rate is 0.5% and the proxy Moderate acute Malnutrition (MAM) rate is 2.5%.

  • 4,016 children under age five who were suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition were treated in September 2016, compared to 2,012 children during the same month in 2015.

  • Over the past month, 33,791 children under 5 years of age have been vaccinated against measles.

  • 180,000 doses of oral cholera vaccine have arrived in country to reach 90,000 people through the Malawi Red Cross Society and District health offices. The vaccination campaign will take place throughout the month of November.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Malawi is experiencing its worst food security crisis in over a decade, with 6.5 million people, including 3.5 million children, currently in need of food assistance in 24 districts. This represents 39 per cent of the country’s population and the needs vary across the affected districts. Currently, another vulnerability assessment is being undertaken with the aim to update the food security situation; results are expected by the end of November 2016. Maize prices in September and October remained substantially higher than in previous years, which is a serious economic stress to poor households.
Meanwhile, distribution of food and cash to affected people identified is underway, with the half rations that were distributed in July due to funding constraints have now increased to a full rations as of September. The October mass malnutrition screening of 827, 525 children aged 6 to 59 months revealed very low rates of severe and acute malnutrition, although the estimated rates are considered to be proxy and not definitive indicators.
The country has registered zero cholera cases since 25th September. The cumulative number of cases registered since the outbreak started in December 2015 is 1,795, with 48 deaths (2.7 CFR).
Preparedness planning for the coming 2016/17 rainy season is underway and is expected to be completed by end of November. The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) is leading preparation of a National Contingency Plan. The La Nina effect is expected to be weak or neutral, with normal rainfall in some areas and possibly above normal rainfall in other areas.