Thursday, July 25, 2013

Drought worsens child malnutrition in Cameroon

Elias Ntungwe Ngalame in AlertNet by the Thomson Reuters Foundation: Prolonged drought in northern Cameroon, an aspect of the changing climate that is affecting the whole Sahel region, has reduced food output, pushed up prices and increased the severity and prevalence of malnutrition among children, experts say.

During a visit to north Cameroon’s Garoua district by the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) early this month, women and health officials at the Lamudam village health unit said local people had yet to recover from the drought-driven Sahel food crisis of 2012 and levels of malnutrition were alarming.

“We receive cases of child malnutrition in this health centre regularly,” said Issa Houre, who runs the unit. “In January this year, for example, we had 33 cases and in May (there were) 49, and this is quite high in a small community of about 1,500 inhabitants.”

...Njakoi Henry, former country director of Heifer Project International Cameroon, told Thomson Reuters Foundation in Yaounde that rains in the north “are now shorter and less frequent”, adding that “pasture land is turning into desert”. “This is changing the way of life for the people in this region and many cannot feed themselves and their children… They need support to adapt and increase their resilience," he said....

Children fending for themselves in Cameroon, shot by Sodeit, public domain

No comments: