In Cité Soleil, 8,000 children under five are at risk from the combined risk of acute wasting and cholera.

Port-au-Prince/Panama/New York, October 14, 2022 – Nearly 100,000 children under the age of five who are already suffering from severe acute malnutrition – also called severe wasting – are particularly vulnerable to the cholera epidemic that is hitting currently Haiti, warned UNICEF.

As much of the country faces growing food insecurity, acutely malnourished children have weakened immune systems and are at three times the risk of dying from cholera, further heightening the need for action. urgent to combat the disease.

Since cholera was first reported on October 2, 2022, 357 suspected cases have been identified, more than half of them children under the age of 14. Children between the ages of one and four are most at risk.

“The crisis in Haiti is more than ever a crisis of children,” said Bruno Maes, UNICEF Representative in Haiti. « Among the victims of cholera, one in three is under five years old. For children already weakened by a nutritional deficit, the risk of catching cholera and suffering its effects, including diarrhea and vomiting, is a condemnation. They must be identified and treated urgently and concrete measures to prevent new cases of cholera in the communities must be implemented. »

Gang violence and inflation worsen an already alarming situation

In Cité Soleil, where the first case of cholera was reported, up to 8,000 children under the age of five are at risk of dying from the combined effects of malnutrition – wasting in this case – and cholera, unless measures are taken. urgent steps are taken to contain this threat. Thousands of families find themselves faced with a lack of food in an underprivileged neighborhood ravaged by violence and fear of armed gangs, considerably reducing people’s access to basic services. The already precarious nutritional situation is further exacerbated by inflation, soaring food prices, widespread poverty and low purchasing power, as well as the current cholera epidemic, threatening the lives of thousands of malnourished children.

A nutrition assessment conducted in April in Cité Soleil revealed high rates of malnutrition, with one in five children under 5 suffering from cachexia. Chronic malnutrition, or stunting, is also a major problem in Haiti, affecting nearly one in four children. From July to October 2022, the support provided by UNICEF and its partners to Cité Soleil made it possible to screen 3,155 children under the age of 5 and provide quality care to 1,180 children suffering from wasting.

Leave a Comment