While the COVID-19 pandemic has hogged all the attention, the rise in malnourished children has the medical staff of Biu General Hospital worried that more children may die if they don't receive treatment.
The hospital's stabilization centre, where severely malnourished children under five years of age are admitted and put on life-saving treatment, has seen a steady rise in numbers. Close to 50% of the cases this year were admitted over the last three months. The first five years are critical to a child's development. Unfortunately, 35 children succumbed to malnutrition in the facility between January and October this year 2020.
"Screening for malnutrition was being done in the remote villages and cases would be referred to the hospital. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to this in April as we only resumed screening in November. But we are already seeing more and more patients coming in" said Thomas Ndambu, a nutritionist with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
The images shown here were taken from the stabilization centre in the Biu General Hospital which is supported by the ICRC.