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Nutrition situation in Borno and Yobe states is extreme in several locations

  • Special Report
  • Nigeria
  • August 30, 2016
Nutrition situation in Borno and Yobe states is extreme in several locations

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The Boko Haram conflict and its associated impacts on freedom of movement, livelihoods, markets, and humanitarian access have resulted in a severe food security and nutrition emergency in parts of Borno and Yobe States. The most recent rapid SMART surveys and mass MUAC screenings conducted in newly accessible localities of Bama, Banki, Monguno, and Dikwa in Borno State and Gujba and Gulani in Yobe State indicate levels of global acute malnutrition (GAM, MUAC<125mm) ranging from 20 to nearly 60 percent. This level of acute malnutrition reflects an “Extreme Critical” situation according to the IPC for Acute Malnutrition and is associated with a significantly increased risk of child mortality. Conditions may be even worse in areas that remain inaccessible. The situation remains Serious to Critical in the more accessible areas of Kaga, Konduga, Maiduguri Metropolitan Center (MMC), and Jere LGAs in Borno State as well as Jakusko LGA in Yobe State where GAM levels range from 8 to 20 percent.    

Rapid MUAC screenings of IDPs in Banki Town, conducted by Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF) in July and August 2016, revealed GAM levels of 27.2 and then 51.8 percent. In Bama, the proportion of children identified as malnourished during mass MUAC screenings by UNICEF and MSF increased from 39.1 percent April to 51.9 percent in June. While these screenings are not representative, they indicate an extremely severe, and possibly deteriorating, situation. These poor nutrition outcomes are largely fueled by persistent insecurity which has limited population movement and humanitarian access. Data from mass MUAC screening completed by UNICEF and MSF along with a representative rapid SMART survey conducted by ACF in MMC and Jere LGAs, where IDPs are accessing more humanitarian support, indicates a more stable, and potentially downward trend, of GAM levels between April and June. 

Mass MUAC screenings are conducted on a weekly basis in IDP camp health centers supported by UNICEF.  Between May and August 2016 these screenings revealed a very high percentage of malnourished children in majority of the camps including a significant number of cases of severe acute malnutrition. Children with severe acute malnutrition are at a significantly increased risk of death. MUAC screening-based GAM and SAM levels have surpassed 15 percent in 17 of the 25 camps which are monitored. While health screening data is also not statistically representative it provides further evidence of extremely poor nutrition outcomes in northeast Nigeria.

Figures Nutrition survey and screening results in Borno and Yobe states

Figure 1

Figure 1.


GAM trends (MUAC) in Banki Town, MMC/Jere LGA, and Bama town spanning April to August

Figure 2

Figure 2.


Figure 3.

Figure 3

Figure 3.

Source: UNICEF

Occasionally, FEWS NET will publish a Special Report that serves to provide an in-depth analysis of food security issues of particular concern that are not covered in FEWS NET’s regular monthly reporting. These reports may focus on a specific factor driving food security outcomes anywhere in the world during a specified period of time. For example, in 2019, FEWS NET produced a Special Report on widespread flooding in East Africa and its associated impacts on regional food security.

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