According to the IPC Acute Malnutrition (IPC AMN) analysis conducted by the Nutrition Sector in February 2020, the nutrition situation in Yobe and Borno states for the period between January and April 2020 is at phase 3 (serious). This marks a deterioration in the nutrition situation as compared to the period between September and December 2019 which was in phase 2 (alert). The nutrition situation in Adamawa State is expected to remain stable in phase 2 (alert). The deterioration is attributed to increased food insecurity due to poor harvest and poor infant and young child feeding practices including exclusive breastfeeding.
In January and February, Nutrition Sector partners screened over 2.7 million children for acute malnutrition and referred those identified as severe or moderately malnourished to the various nutrition intervention programmes. A total of 30,323 children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) were admitted to the 617 Outpatient Therapeutic Programme (OTP) centres, where they were treated using Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) and provided drugs for any underlying medical conditions. During the reporting period, the OTP centres successfully treated 96 per cent of children admitted.
The Nutrition Sector partners admitted 1,139 children between the ages of six to 59 months with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) with medical complications into inpatient treatment centres (stabilization centres) where they received intensive nutrition and medical therapy. In addition, the centres admitted 313 children under six months who were malnourished and not breastfed, or caregivers had difficulties breastfeeding. Over 90 per cent of children admitted into the stabilization centres were treated successfully and discharged to continue treatment at OTPs or at home for follow-up.
To treat and prevent moderate acute malnutrition, the Nutrition Sector partners provided specialised supplementary foods to children between the ages of six to 23 months. A total of 113,877 and 114,458 children received nutritional supplements in January and February respectively. Children between 24 to 59 months with moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) were also treated with specialised supplementary foods (supercereal plus). Partners reached 3,750 and 4,100 children in January and February respectively. In nine LGAs across Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states, nutrition partners are implementing Targeted Supplementary Feeding Programmes (TSFP) to provide intensive follow-up for moderately malnourished children. A total of 1,864 new cases in children ages six to 59months were admitted into the programme. During the reporting period 93 per cent were successfully treated and discharged as cured. To prevent acute malnutrition among pregnant and breastfeeding women, nutrition partners reached 61,287 and 59,656 women in January and February respectively, mostly in IDP camps, communities with returnees and host populations directly affected by conflict.
To prevent overall malnutrition and promote appropriate infant and young child feeding and caring practices (IYCF), a total of 26,043 caregivers of children between zero to 23 months, as well as 12,799 pregnant women received IYCF counselling at health facilities. In addition, a total of 309,763 women received IYCF messages through the Mother-to-Mother Support Groups and 11,241 men through the innovative Father-to-Father Supports Groups. To prevent micronutrient deficiencies in the community, a total of 35,225 children between six to 23 months received multi-micronutrient supplement powder either for the first time or during repeated visits.
Nutrition partners reached 4,989 caregivers of children between six to23months and 42,906 pregnant and breastfeeding women with cash and voucher assistance (CVA) to improve the nutrition outcomes of the targeted individuals or households.
The main challenges the Nutrition Sector is facing in 2020 includes the disruption of services in Mafa and Gubio LGAs, Borno State due to insecurity. Moreover, partners were forced to put services on hold in some locations due to funding shortages and delays in the delivery of life-saving nutrition supplies to deep field locations due to delayed cargo movement clearances by the military.
The Nutrition Sector will prioritise advocacy to donors to adequately fund partners to ensure continuity of services in current intervention areas and scale-up services in Yobe and Adamawa states to ensure optimal geographical and programmatic coverage. In addition, partners will engage both INGO and NNGOs, as well as work closely with the State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA) to fill gaps in locations where some partners stopped providing services for example in Central Mafa.
The Sector is in the process of finalising the Nutrition Sector three-year Strategy and Response plan. The Sector will continue to improve the quality of the response through more regular joint monitoring and supervision sessions. The monitoring of the nutritional situation through various surveys will start in March, which will include both quantitative and qualitative indicators to understand the various underlying causes of acute malnutrition.