For more information, read Paediatric cancer care in a limited-resource setting: Children’s Welfare Teaching Hospital, Medical City, Baghdad by Salma A Naji AL-Hadad, Mazin Faisal Farhan Al-Jadiry and Claudia Lefko.
Photo: In the Madaoua and Bouza districts of Niger, there were an average of seven deaths for every 10,000 children every day last year. More than half of the deaths were due to malaria. © Juan-Carlos Tomasi
A Vicious Cycle in Sahel
Malaria and malnutrition are closely related. This is played out dramatically in Africa’s Sahel region during the “hunger gap” months. Food stocks run low and new crops are not ready for harvest, so malnutrition is at its peak; meanwhile, the rainy season, when mosquitoes breed, is in full swing. The diseases combine in a vicious circle: malnourished children with weak immune systems can’t fight diseases including malaria; children sick with malaria are more likely to become dangerously malnourished.
On this Earth, some children have access to life-saving medications, and others do not. This unfair imbalance means lives of equal value are treated unequally. Our MSF action seeks to make a dent in this injustice. It is unfair and tragic that children like Oumere die so early in their lives.