Nutrition/2 November 2015/Baidoa, Somalia

Mother and child at an out-patient therapeutic programme run by DMO (Deegroor Medical Organization) – a health and nutrition implementing partner supported by UNICEF. Operating in Baidoa district, Bay region, the partner provides a full package of health and nutrition services, including outpatient therapeutic programme (OTP); infant and young child feeding (IYCF); and nutrition, health and hygiene promotion (NHHP), among others. Nutrition screening for children 6-59 months is carried out on a daily basis at multiple DMO facilities, using measurement tools such as Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) and Weight for Height. Children with severe acute malnutrition but no medical complications receive ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) as part of the treatment. Mothers are given information on immunization, deworming and how to ward off infection for their children. Somalia has had a persistent high level of malnutrition among children. At the moment (December 2015), 1 in every 7 Somali children under-five is suffering from acute malnutrition; nearly 15% of mothers are also malnourished. The situation is particularly worse for children in the Central South regions. Despite a slight improvement from Serious to Alert (2.6% in 2014, 2.2% in 2015), as many as 308,000 children under-five are acutely malnourished, 56,000 of them severely malnourished.Funding for this project is made possible by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO). A total of US$2.8 million is going towards UNICEF’s work in Nutrition, Cash Transfers and WASH for one year, starting April 2015, with $1.5 million goes towards Nutrition.