The Medicines Sans Frontier, otherwise known as Doctors Without Borders, has opened two new centres for the treatment of children suffering from malnourishment in Maiduguri, North-east Nigeria.
The centres, located at Dala and Gwange areas of the Borno State capital, were an upgrade on the tent-built emergency care centres set up to contain malnutrition epidemic at camps for internally displaced persons in the area.
MSF said more than 240 children of displaced parents died of malnutrition in various IDP camps in the last five months.
Last year, the humanitarian medical organisation broke the news to the world of how kids have been dying of hunger in IDP camps like those in Bama and Pulka towns and other villages in Borno state.
Despite the interventions by both MSF and Borno State government in treating thousands of kids at a nutrition centre they opened in Maiduguri, many kids are still dying or suffering from acute malnutrition.
Each week in Maiduguri, MSF admits around 140 children into its inpatient nutrition centres. There are already around 4,500 children receiving care under the organization’s outpatient feeding programmes across the city.
The two new treatment centres are expected to provide services to in-patients within and around Maiduguri township.
Each of the 72-bed facility has an emergency room, intensive care unit and units for acute and transition phases of malnutrition. More than 750 children with less severe forms of malnutrition receive biweekly care and supply of therapeutic food at an ambulatory therapeutic feeding centre.
MSF said it provides care and treatment to an average 400 severely malnourished children per month free-of-charge.
“We are receiving a lot of patients who are in a really bad condition, not only from Maiduguri but also from displaced families living in camps or within the host population,” MSF project coordinator, Amande Bazerolle, said.
“There was not a lot of care available for malnutrition in Maiduguri before MSF’s arrival more than two years ago. There have since been improvements concerning the nutrition situation and availability of care, but the needs are still huge,” he stated.
MSF runs five nutrition projects in Maiduguri. Each week, the organisation admits around 140 children to its in-patient treatment centres.
MSF has been providing medical care in response to the conflict-related emergency in Borno State since the middle of 2014. The organisation has permanent teams based in Maiduguri, Monguno, Pulka, Dikwa, Gwoza, Ngala and Rann.