(Formerly called IRIN) Journalism from the heart of crises

Mine closures in CAR's southwest trigger nutrition crisis

A child in Sam Ouandja, northeastern CAR

Rising unemployment following the closure of diamond and gold mines in southwestern Central African Republic (CAR), due to the global financial crisis, has left many families in increasing poverty and triggered a nutrition crisis, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said.

Within the past six weeks, at least 1,300 children, mostly suffering from severe malnutrition, have been admitted to MSF's four feeding centres in Carnot, Boda, Nola and Gambouula. First assessments in some of these areas have revealed severe malnutrition rates way above the emergency threshold, the medical charity said in a 21 September statement.

"In Boda and Nola... it is difficult to find patients only suffering from malnutrition, as many of them arrive suffering from other diseases and their condition is very severe," MSF’s Clara Delacre said.

"There are many case of malaria, diarrhoea, tuberculosis or AIDS, which further complicates children’s already delicate condition," she added. The situation has been aggravated by poor cassava-based diets and difficult access to health facilities.


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