In just two weeks, 390 children treated for malnutrition at new MSF nutritional project in the Central African Republic

Alerted to the problem by the country's health authorities, MSF set up a malnutrition treatment program in the hospital in Carnot, a city in southwestern CAR. By August 9, around two weeks after the project opened, close to 390 malnourished children had been admitted, including 350 suffering from severe malnutrition. Many of them are seriously ill, with 40 percent requiring immediate hospitalization.

Troubling nutritional situation

In June, before the hospital registered a massive increase in the number of malnutrition cases, local health authorities were already worried about the situation. In coordination with the Ministry of Health, an MSF team conducted a rapid nutritional evaluation. Of the 62 children hospitalized at the Carnot hospital, 42 are severely malnourished. Others waiting to be seen have also been identified as suffering from severe malnutrition. In the city, the results confirm initial observations: more than 20 percent of children show signs of malnutrition.

Monitoring and evaluation

Southwestern CAR is a diamond region, but this sector has been in crisis for several months. However, the economic slowdown alone does not explain the emergence of a troubling nutritional situation.

More extensive evaluations are required to determine the reasons for the worsening nutritional conditions, which extend beyond the city of Carnot. MSF, as well as other organizations like Action Against Hunger, has opened nutritional projects in the same region. MSF medical teams may also open a project in Gamboula, a city located southwest of Carnot.