Somalia: ICRC sounds alarm over high rates of child malnutrition

NAIROBI – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Monday raised an alarm over increasing cases of severe malnutrition among children in Somalia, terming it a threat to their survival.

A statement from ICRC received in Nairobi noted that the number of undernourished Somalia children in urgent need of life-saving interventions has spiked against a backdrop of biting drought currently engulfing the horn of Africa state.

“This rise in child malnutrition is a serious warning sign for Somalia, one that demands both attention and immediate response,” said Jordi Raich, the head of ICRC Somalia delegation.

The statement from ICRC indicated that mothers with malnourished children have been trooping its stabilization center in Kismayo General Hospital and other parts of south and central Somalia to seek medical attention.

According to the statement, 369 new patients were admitted to the stabilization centre in February this year, a 40 percent increase in one year period.

The statement added that 414 new patients were admitted at the center in December last year.

“Since November 2016, we are feeling the strain as the number of patients increases,” remarked Mohamed Gedi who oversees the stabilization center in Somalia.

“These patients are coming from the rural areas; the pastoral areas where farmers have had their crops fail twice now,” Raich said.

ICRC aims to reach 1.4 million people in Somalia with food aid, clean water and cash grants this year as part of its drought response in the country.

Source: Angola Press News Agency