Cases of severe malnutrition among children aged under five years in north-eastern Nigeria are fast increasing, an non-governmental organisation has warned.
FHI 360 said that a staggeringly high number of malnourished children – 15,781 – were admitted to its facilities between February and September for treatment, an increase of nearly 160% from last year.
“The situation in north-east Nigeria is grave, and increased support is needed to address the critical health and nutritional needs of communities, especially women and children,” the organisation added.
The UN children’s organisation (Unicef) has previously said that Nigeria has the second-highest rate of child stunting globally, which is caused by widespread malnutrition, particularly in the northern part of the country.
Unicef estimates that two million children in Nigeria suffer from malnutrition, but only 20% of these receive treatment.
Its data also shows that malnutrition contributes to 45% of the deaths of children aged under five years in Nigeria.