Responding to the malnutrition emergency in Northwest Nigeria

Since the beginning of 2022 MSF teams have witnessed extraordinarily high numbers of children with malnutrition in Northwest Nigeria.

Violence, displacement and food insecurity, in addition to the failing healthcare system and various epidemics of measles and malaria, make Northwest Nigeria a perfect storm for a severe health and nutrition crisis.

Without MSF's presence, the situation in the region would be even more desperate with many patients being forced to attempt to travel across the border to Niger for treatment. The MSF team has the experience, support, logistics, and capacity necessary to provide an extremely high level of care.

Your generous donations in the past have helped us provide lifesaving medical aid where it's needed most. Today, we need your support once again so we can continue to help the people of Northwest Nigeria.

Why now?

Since January, MSF teams working in collaboration with the Nigerian health authorities have treated over 100,000 children suffering from acute malnutrition in 34 outpatient facilities and admitted about 17,000 children requiring hospital care in 10 inpatient centres.

In Zamfara state, one of the areas most affected by ongoing violence and banditry, we recorded a 64% year-on-year increase in the number of severely malnourished children treated in the outpatient nutritional departments supported by MSF from January to August 2022.

What is MSF doing?

In MSF programs across five states in Northwest Nigeria, our dedicated teams are diagnosing and treating malnutrition in hundreds of patients per day.

In our ambulatory feeding centres we provide therapeutic food sachets and medicines, and run nutritional health awareness sessions.

In severe cases, patients are hospitalised and treated with a course of therapeutic meals in order to reset their metabolic function.

In Katsina State alone, MSF teams have treated 79,000 children for malnutrition, with 23,000 children currently in active follow up care. We have 565 beds for malnutrition hospitalisations, and 300 new cases are admitted daily.

Why MSF?

No other organisation in Northwest Nigeria is offering the level of care that MSF can, and few have the capacity to scale up as MSF has done.

MSF has been treating malnutrition since our founding. From specialist nurses to brilliant health promoters, our staff have the expertise needed to respond to this complex crisis.

"With increasing insecurity, climate change and global inflation of food prices in a post-pandemic world, we can only imagine this crisis getting worse."
Dr. Simba Tirima, MSF country representative in Nigeria