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GROWING numbers of children are being treated for serious malnutrition as Cameroon’s food crisis deepens – warns children’s charity Plan International.
Hunger in the Sahel region hit the headlines last summer, but continues to strengthen its grip on Northern Cameroon.
“Since our response began, Plan has referred almost one thousand children for treatment for serious malnutrition and numbers affected are growing every month,” says Barro Famari, Country Director for Plan International in Cameroon.
“Doctors are also increasingly seeing pregnant women with malnutrition – as well as mothers who are breastfeeding.”
“We are concerned our figures are just the tip of the overall hunger problem in the North of Cameroon.”
In January the Yogoua Health District in the far north recorded 688 new cases of severe acute malnutrition, while Poli district recorded 428.
Plan is concentrating on strengthening the ability of communities to prepare the most nutritious food possible, using locally-sourced ingredients.
“Specially trained staff have been providing nutrient-rich meals, as well as running cooking demonstrations,” says Barro Famari.
“We are also supplying daily rations to mothers whose children are receiving treatment in health centres, to encourage them to stay until they are completely better.”
In the East of Cameroon, Plan has equipped local health facilities with beds, weighing scales and blankets
The organisation is also supplying bicycles so workers can reach remote areas and is partnering with the government to run clinical training on managing malnutrition.
For more information on Plan’s work visit www.plan-uk.org
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