Venezuela - September 2020

Situation Report

Cluster Status

Nutrition

3,833
Children reached in September

Needs

According to partner reports, 5,259 children under age 5 were screened for acute malnutrition, of which 5.3 per cent were identified as acutely malnourished, 3.9 per cent as moderately malnourished and 1.4 per cent as severely malnourished.

In September, partners reported 18 deaths of children in eight communities in Miranda state from causes associated with malnutrition. Nutrition services continue to be provided with outpatient health services and in hospitals in the affected communities.

According to UNICEF, out of the 1,970 pregnant and lactating women screened in 10 states, 22.2 per cent were underweight and 51 per cent had some degree of anemia.

Response

Health partners have adapted nutritional services, using mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) measuring tapes, a method for the detection of malnutrition with less physical contact. To strengthen implementation capacity, the Cluster provided local and international NGOs partners with MUAC measuring tapes.

The provision of personal protection equipment to health centers has improved access to nutrition programmes at the community level for children under age 5. In September, 5,259 children under age 5 were screened for acute malnutrition.

To prevent malnutrition, 3,833 children under age 5 received micronutrients across 11 states. In addition, 1,970 pregnant and lactating women were reached with services to prevent micronutrient deficiency.

A total of 203 children under age 5 received nutritional services for the treatment of acute malnutrition in 11 states; and 74 children under age 5 received nutritional services for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition mainly in Delta Amacuro, where 34 children were treated. In addition, 2,930 children under age 5 and 8,744 children aged 5 and over were treated for intestinal parasitosis at assistance centers.

A total of 2,000 lactating women received counseling on infant and young child feeding practices.

Gaps

Despite the adequacy of health and nutrition services in the context of COVID-19, not all health personnel have brachial perimeter screening for acute malnutrition, which reduces exposure and contact with patients. In some health centers the personnel do not have optimal personal protective equipment.

Cases of malnutrition have been reported in hard-to-reach areas such as Barinas, Bolívar, Carabobo, Delta Amacuro, Falcon, Lara, Miranda, and Táchira states. Additionally, the lack of fuel continues to be a major limitation for the mobilization of humanitarian assistance throughout the country. This scenario has made it difficult for partners to provide nutritional services, limiting home follow-up activities.

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