Serious rise in numbers at MSF feeding centre in Galcayo, Somalia

The MSF team in northern Galcayo, Somalia, is seeing a serious increase in the number of malnourished children coming to the MSF therapeutic feeding centre (TFC) there. Galcayo is the capital of Puntland in the northeast part of Somalia. The TFC was opened in July with a Ã? capacity for 40 children. By November, the facility was handling 75 children. At present, MSF is admitting 10 to 12 children every day - the usual stay is three weeks - and there are now 100 children in the TFC and another 160 in the out-patient feeding programme. Another 250 children are in a supplementary feeding programme. More MSF staff were sent over the Christmas weekend to reinforce the team. The TFC that MSF runs in northern Galcayo is the only one in the region and people are coming in from cities as far away as Bosasso, some 600 kilometres to the north. Some patients have come from neighbouring Ethiopia. The team intends to open a second TFC in the next months in southern Galcayo. Malnutrition is a chronic problem in Somalia. Word of mouth has brought high awareness of the project - and a constant flow of malnourished children. Besides the feeding programme, MSF supports the hospitals in northern and southern Galcayo and runs a clinic in Marere in the Lower Juba Valley in southern Somalia.