Malnutrition soars in Horn of Africa as crisis worsens by the day

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 12 July 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4454
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

Rates of malnutrition and mortality among children are rising rapidly in drought stricken Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, the United Nations and aid charities have warned. Unless humanitarian assistance is urgently dispatched and interventions scaled up, the crisis is expected to worsen, they say.

UN officials in the region told the BMJ that the rate of acute malnutrition is rising dramatically and that death rates have risen sixfold among children aged under 5 years in some of the worst affected areas.

The crisis, exacerbated by the severest drought in half a century, is getting worse by the day. The situation is most life threatening for the thousands of Somali refugees crossing over daily into Ethiopia and Kenya after having walked for days.

Adrian Edwards, a spokesman for the …

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