Doctor Without Borders reports 16 pct malnutrition among young children in settlements of displaced people
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and local leaders said Friday that hundreds of children of displaced communities in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are dying from malnutrition.
The international medical humanitarian group said in a statement that displaced people living in settlements around the city of Kalemie in the Tanganyika province have limited access to healthcare and face alarming shortages of food, water, and shelter, which has led to many children dying.
Thousands of people were displaced 10 months ago due to intercommunal clashes in the province, which also led to dozens of deaths. It is common in the Central Africa country for militia or tribal groups to attack villages of tribes and kill innocents.
“Children are dying of malnutrition and preventable diseases such as diarrhea and measles,” said Hugues Robert, Doctors Without Borders’ emergency program manager.
He added that the displaced people remain living in desperate conditions and are in immediate need of more humanitarian assistance.
MSF said that during a measles vaccination campaign, MSF evaluated malnutrition in 5,700 children under 5 years old in 10 of these settlements, and found malnutrition levels above the emergency threshold: 16 percent malnourished, 4.5 percent severely so.
A local leader in Kalemie, Muasa Lame, told Anadolu that in the last 10 months over 200 children have died from malnutrition and diseases.
''The displaced people can’t adequately feed their children because they lack food. They also do not have money to pay for treatment of the children. That has led to hundreds of children dying.''
Over 500,000 people were displaced between July 2016 and March 2017 due to violence, according to UN estimates. Over 44,000 are living in settlements around the city of Kalémie.
MSF has requested an increased humanitarian response in the territories of Kalémie and Kansimba from UN agencies and the government.
Doctor Without Borders (MSF)