Women waiting at an outreach health post.
The Merlin Emergency Response Team sent to Chad to feed and care for vulnerable families living in remote communities, are now fully set up and are caring for over 250,000 people.
In the Sahel region of central Africa more than 15 million people are facing food shortages and over one million children are at risk of severe, acute malnutrition. The situation continues to get worse and experts forecast there will be a peak in food insecurity and malnutrition rates in July 2012 - this sadly, will result in a huge rise in deaths - the majority of which will be children. Merlin want to prevent needless deaths, by offering health and nutrition care now.
Merlin’s Emergency Response Team in Chad
In March 2012, Merlin teams carried out assessments in Chad, to determine health needs and design the most effective response possible. After reviewing the results, an emergency health and nutrition program response was launched immediately.
Chad is one of the poorest countries in the world. Ranked 183 out of 187 on the Health Development Index, one in
five children die before their fifth birthday and the average life expectancy is only 46 years. Currently, 3.6 million people are threatened with malnutrition.
Merlin are making the most of this small window of opportunity to save lives – to stop or slow the expert's forecast that malnutrition and death rates will soar from July onwards.
Our activities will care for over 250,000 - This emergency response will focus on providing life-saving health and nutritional care for over 40,000 pregnant women, new mothers and children under five. It will also benefit local populations of around 273,000 people.
Merlin has implemented an integrated emergency health and nutrition program in the Hadjer Lamis region of western Chad.
This area has huge needs and not has been receiving aid from other INGOs. The critical threshold rate of 15% for Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) has been reached, and families are exposed to communicable disease outbreaks due to their proximity to Lake Chad and dense populations.
Merlin’s activities include:
- screening children under five, pregnant women and new mothers for malnutrition,
- establishing 12 outpatient and supplementary feeding sites in existing health centers,
- outreach services and mobile teams to reach more remote areas,
- establishing a stabilization center at the District Hospital for those children requiring
- training and support for local health workers, so they can care for patients within
their local neighborhoods,
- health and nutrition education sessions, and
- ensuring adequate medical and nutrition stocks.
On behalf of all those we care for and everyone at Merlin, thank you for your support.