DRC: Alarming malnutrition rates in North Kivu

Friday, July 13, 2007

Very high malnutrition rates have been recorded in the highlands of Masisi, in North Kivu province, because of insecurity, said the UN.

"These high rates are the direct result of the insecurity which has prevailed in the area for months because of the militia activities," said UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) spokesman, Kemal Saiki, who based his observations on nutritional surveys carried out by a local non-governmental organisation.

"People do not dare go either into their fields or to the nearby health centres," he added.

According to the survey, the malnutrition rates recorded in the area are alarming, reaching a rate of 14.6 percent and resulting in mortality rates of 4.81 per 10,000 people every day. The survey covered children up to five years old.

The NGO, Communaute des Eglises Pentecotistes en Afrique centrale, has received enough food for the therapeutic and supplementary treatment of 300 of these malnourished children as well as their families in the Mweso village from the UN World Food Programme (WFP).

However, 800 other malnourished children who live in the Masisi and the Nyabindo village did not have access to therapeutic and supplementary treatment, said Aline Samu, WFP spokesperson. Many trucks are stuck on the road as the conditions have deteriorated significantly.

Source: IRIN