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Severe acute malnutrition continues to rise in Sahel region of Africa

Ben Curtis / AP

Kouboura Adoum holds her son Nezile Moussa, two-years-old, as he receives treatment through a nasal feeding tube at the therapeutic nutrition ward of the hospital in Mao, capital of the Kanem region of Chad, on April 17.

Ben Curtis / AP

A child has his weight checked in a hanging scale as other mothers and children wait their turn, at a walk-in feeding center in Mao, capital of the Kanem region of Chad on April 17.

Ben Curtis / AP

Hereta Moussa, 20, rests her hand on the leg of her son Mahamat Choukou, seven-months, as he receives treatment for a malnutrition-related lung infection

 

UNICEF estimates this year that 127,000 children under the age of five living in Chad's Sahel belt region will require lifesaving treatment for severe acute malnutrition, with a larger number estimated at 1 million expected throughout the wider Sahel region of West and Central Africa, in the countries of Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Senegal and Mauritania. The organization says the current food and nutrition crisis stems from scarce rainfalls in 2011, which caused poor harvests and livestock production, though the situation in Chad has also been exacerbated by an influx of Chadians returning from Libya as a result of the conflict there.

Ben Curtis / AP

A child has the circumference of her arm measured to check her growth, at a walk-in feeding center in Mao, capital of the Kanem region of Chad on April 17.

Ben Curtis / AP

Halime Moussa, three-years-old, receives treatment via a nasal feeding tube and has bandaged hands to prevent him from removing it, at the therapeutic nutrition ward of the Mao hospital in the Kanem region of Chad. His mother, Kaltouma Abakar, left, traveled 70km (43.5 miles) to bring him to the center.

Ben Curtis / AP

A woman casts millet grain for sale into a basket next to a walk-in feeding center in Mao, capital of the Kanem region of Chad on April 17.

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