Boko Haram; MSF opens new 50-bed feeding centre for malnourished children

IDP camp used to illustrate the story.

Médecins Sans Frontieres, MSF, an international humanitarian medical organisation, said it has setup a 50-bed therapeutic feeding centre, for malnourished children in Maiduguri, Borno State.

The new centre which was officially opened in Fori district of Maiduguri on Saturday, brings the total number of such facilities to three.

The MSF had last year disclosed large scale malnourishment amongst displaced children in many of the IDP camps in Borno State.

This was followed by mass evacuation of about 550 kids with acute malnourishment to a special centre jointly set up by MSF and Borno State government where they were mostly rehabilitated.

According to MSF, the latest feeding centre, located within the premises of the state ministry of health’s primary healthcare centre in Fori district of Maiduguri, started receiving patients three weeks ago before it was officially opened on February 18.

“We have so far in the outpatient programme, after three weeks, 120 children and in the inpatient department we have had 15 children. The difference is that in the inpatient department we are seeing children with severe complications,” Cathy Hansens, MSF Field Coordinator, says.

Ms. Hansens added that a team of community health workers are going into the community to test children for malnutrition and also inform parents on the need to bring their children to the programme. The response has been encouraging, she said.

“Two weeks ago, we had a child of seven years old and when he entered the programme he was not responding,” she said.

“The child was very shy and didn’t want to interact. He lost completely all appetite and that was why he was admitted in the inpatient department. Slowly everyday you could see how he was improving.

“He started to drink the milk, then we moved on to plumpy nut and by the time he was discharged after one week, he was smiling and very happy. He gained some weight and looked like a child his age again. It was so lovely to see and that is why we are doing this. We are very thankful to see the children improving, playing and running out of our centre healthy.”

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