ZIMBABWE is facing its worst malnutrition rates in 15 years due partly to drought caused by the El Nino phenomenon.
Development agencies statistics show that nearly 33 000 children in the country are suffering from severe acute malnutrition and are in urgent need of therapeutic treatment.
According to the World Food Programme, the Health and Nutrition programme in support of the Ministry of Health and Child Care, provided some 8 694 malnourished people living with HIV and/or TB, pregnant and nursing women, and children under age five with super cereal—a corn soya blend fortified with vitamins and minerals for the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition at clinics in Mutasa District, Harare and Bulawayo Metropolitan Province.
However, the programme continues to face funding challenges for the next 6 months.
According to the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Survey released last month, nearly 2,8 million people in rural Zimbabwe (30 percent of the rural population) will require food assistance, of which 1,4 million are children aged 18 years and below.
The impact of the drought on households, according to the survey, is particularly stark and children are being adversely affected.
At least 2,1 percent children under-five years have severe acute malnutrition. This is slightly higher than the international threshold of two percent required for an emergency response and the majority of children with severe acute malnutrition are aged between 1-2 years.
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