In the worst case, malnutrition inflates the whole body of the child, inflating the face into a round satellite, and the desperate parent cuts the meat in an attempt to drain the collected water.

Children with severe illness are at risk of infection, perhaps HIV, in addition to the dreaded “Kwashiorkor”. Kwashiorkor, if left untreated, kills or leaves lifelong disabilities.

A complex form of malnutrition, kwashiorkor, is still relatively rare in northern Kenya, but public health workers are very wary of it as the drought that brought the four rainy seasons to the region is prolonged.

Patrick Lokitera, who works at the Sasame Clinic in Turkana County, Kenya, flirts when talking about children in distress.

The clinic can help children with low weight and moderate to severe malnutrition. The mother walks for hours to bring her children to the clinic every week.
For auxiliary feeding. However, Kwashiorkor needs urgent and professional treatment at the regional center.

“All feet are swollen and the upper limbs, hands, and face look like a full moon,” explains Lokitera. “It’s painless and pushing the meat with your thumb will open a hole.”

Outreach workers explain the distinguishing characteristics of visits to rural communities to discourage them from administering traditional treatments.

That means cutting the kids. Often use a razor that is certainly not sterilized, but has not been washed due to the very low water content.

Lokitela is responsible for the health and nutrition of the agency Concern. It warns that 350,000 severely malnourished children are facing death as the crisis of drought and hunger in East Africa worsens.

Such small centers in Sasame cannot hope to catch them all, and the recurrence rate increases as diarrhea loses nutrients from the food supplied by drinking from the makeshift water holes in the muddy. doing.

Most of the situation in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan is worse than it was before the last disaster, which killed more than 250,000 people in 2011.

Since then, 13 million people have needed humanitarian assistance to survive the famine. According to concerns, 23 million people in the region need humanitarian assistance, but international donors do not.

The four consecutive failures of the rainy season led to thinning out of livestock, barren pastures, destruction of crops, and widespread hunger and malnutrition.

The disease is widespread and hundreds of thousands of people are forced to relocate for grazing land, water and humanitarian aid.

Amina Abdullah, regional director of concern, said that 5 million children in five countries are estimated to be malnourished, of which 1.6 million are severely malnourished.

“Without emergency response and increased humanitarian assistance, 350,000 of these children are at risk of death,” she said.

Aid has so far stopped hunger, but Ms Abdullah said that 500,000 people have been classified as one step away from famine.

The situation is even more volatile, as the price of imported corn has doubled since the war with Ukraine, and the limited aid supplied has only halved.

“The number of children under the age of five in need of emergency care has increased significantly, but there are not enough resources to meet that need, especially in remote areas,” said Concern, Country Director, Kenya. One Arshad Muhammad says.

His counterpart in Ethiopia, Barbara White, said the drought was also causing great damage there.

“We are focused on building the capacity of people to deal with emergencies, but this situation is now beyond that and next season’s rain is expected to be below average, saving people. It’s a fight against time for, “she said.

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