Monthly nutrition update for Somalia - Apr 2007: Special Focus on Gedo



The impact of the recent confl ict in Mogadishu continues, with large numbers of internally displaced populations (IDP) remaining throughout South and Central Zones. Current fi gures estimate that a total of 393,430 (1) people have fl ed Mogadishu since February 1st with an estimate of 8,200 returnees to date to Mogadishu, predominantly from the Shabelle Regions. Following concerns as to the nutrition status of the recently arrived IDP population in Baidoa Town, a rapid assessment was conducted in fi ve camps (2) hosting these populations, by FSAU and partners from May 12th to 14th. The assessment involved an exhaustive study using Mid Upper Arm Circumference, (MUAC) of 1106 children aged 1-5yrs from 611 households. The results indicated a very worrying situation with 18.6% of these children classifi ed as acutely malnourished (MUAC <12.5cm) including 4.3% classifi ed as severely malnourished (MUAC <11cm). The results have been shared with partners on the ground who are mobilising efforts to respond, however the lack of facilities for the management of severe acute malnutrition in Baidoa is of great concern. These camps host both recent IDPs (from February 1st) and longer term IDPs (up to 10 months ago), therefore both groups were included in the assessment, however on desegregating the nutrition data by group, both were equally affected.

Three nutrition assessments were conducted in Gedo Region in April '07 by FSAU and partners. The assessments were done at livelihood levels, representing the Riverine population, Agropastoral population and Pastoral population. The results indicated continuing critical rates of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) with 17.7% (15.3-20.4) GAM and 3.5% (2.5-5) Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in the Riverine population, 16.7% (14.4-19.3) GAM and 3.1% (2.1-4.5) SAM in the Agropastoral population and 19.9% (17.4-22.7) GAM and 2.6% (1.7-3.9) SAM in the Pastoral population. Although a direct comparison cannot be made to the most recent assessment conducted in March 2006, where 23.8% (21.1-26.7) GAM was reported, as the sample included the entire Gedo Region therefore mixing all the livelihoods, some recovery has been noted. Crude mortality rates were slightly above the alert threshold in all three assessments.

WHO (3) continue to report cases of Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD), with the latest fi gures from the period of January 1st to May 11th estimating a total of 30,227 cases from Central and Southern Zones including 973 related deaths. In the reported epidemiological week (week 19) the reported cases decreased by 24% in comparison with the previous week. In addition the overall Case Fatality Rate (CFR) continues to decrease from 4.3% in epidemiological week 14 to 1.26% in the current reporting week (19).

Four nutrition assessments were conducted by FSAU and partners in May in Southern Somalia. Two of these assessments were conducted in Lower and Middle Shabelle Regions; one to estimate the nutrition situation of the Riverine population and one to estimate the nutrition situation of the Agropastoral population. The other two nutrition assessments were conducted in Burhakaba district, focusing on the Pastoral population and the Agropastoral population. Results of all four assessments will be presented in next months Nutrition Update.


(1) UNHCR fi gures, May 17th

(2) Hanano, 11 January, Onod, ADC and BB1.

(3) WHO Somalia, Acute Watery Diarrhoea Update, May 11th 2007