Malnutrition, Stunted Growth Prevalent in Tigray – Unicef

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Victims of No-Peace-No-War. Despite getting the lion’s share of all humanitarian aid given to Ethiopia, the people of Tigray today caught in an apparently inescapable aid trap making development almost impossible.

Child malnutrition in Tigray, northern Ethiopia is alarming
Child malnutrition in Tigray, northern Ethiopia is in alarming stage

By Endale Assefa,

More than 41% of children under five experience stunted growth in Tigray and an estimated 11.6 % suffer from acute malnutrition, according to UNICEF-Ethiopia.

In a press release sent to The Daily Monitor, the UN agency said the deplorable situation in the region was revealed during a visit by the Head of European Commission and Tim Clarke, Head of European Commission in Ethiopia to UNICEF – supported child nutrition sites in Tigray- Mekele on May 29, 2007.

UNICEF says the problem of malnutrition was the case with other regions of the country where it said a large scale intervention was needed to save millions of vulnerable children.

“We have just seen a child here who is 18 months old. Her normal weight should be 13 Kilos; but she is only five kilos-highly at risk and we can give her therapeutic feeding in order to give her a chance to survive,” Tim Clark said during the visit.

According to the 2002 demographic and health survey, 47 percent of Ethiopian children are stunted and 11 percent wasted.

The EC delegate to Ethiopia has provided 7.6 million Euros to UNICEF during the past year in support of the Enhanced Out reach Strategy (EOS)/ TSF-Targeted Supplementary Food Program- a joint program initiative executed between the government, WFP and UNICEF.

UNICEF indicated that with European Commission’s donation, it was working in life saving efforts Ethiopia by providing mothers and children with key survival interventions.

“Tigray has just over 500 places with in the Therapeutic Feeding Program (TFP) through out the region. For complete coverage we need roughly 14, 000 to cope with on going severe mal-nutrition needs that is still a huge gap,” explains Dr. Iqbal Kabil, UNICEF Head of Nutrition and Food Security Section.

In its fourth year, EOS/ TSF aims to give the most vulnerable access to food, primary health care nutritional awareness.

It also monitors the nutritional status of populations for better emergency and preparedness and response, it was noted.
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