Tuesday April 24th, 2018 10:02AM

Thousands of kids dying in northeast Nigeria, says survey

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Thousands of children have died of starvation and disease in Boko Haram-ravaged northeastern Nigeria, Doctors Without Borders said Tuesday quoting a new survey that is forcing Nigerian officials to stop denying the crisis.

The Paris-based organization hopes that official recognition of the calamity in which "thousands are dying" will help bring urgent aid before older children also start dying, Natalie Roberts, emergency program manager for northeast Nigeria, told The Associated Press.

A survey of two refugee camps in the northeastern city of Maiduguri shows a quarter of the expected population of under-5 children is missing, assumed dead, according to the organization. Under-5 mortality rates in the camps are more than double the threshold for declaring an emergency, Roberts said in a phone interview from Paris.

Speaking on her return from northeastern Borno state, the birthplace of Boko Haram's Islamic uprising, she said the absence of young children was striking.

"We only saw older brothers and sisters. No toddlers are straddling their big sisters' hips. No babies strapped to their mums' backs. It's as if they have just vanished," Roberts said.

Doctors Without Borders first sounded the alarm in June but senior officials of the National Emergency Management Agency managing the camps as late as September denied any child was suffering malnutrition and accused the doctors of exaggerating the crisis to attract donations. That was after The Associated Press published images of matchstick-thin children fighting for their lives at an intensive feeding center in Maiduguri, run by the France-based medical organization, also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF.

The crisis is aggravated by alleged theft of food aid by emergency management officials being investigated by Nigeria's senate.

"The difference now is that our figures have been checked by the statistician general, and we have official recognition from the government that they believe this is happening," Roberts said.

An estimated 75,000 children could die within a year because donors have provided only one-third of requested funding and twice as much, $1 billion, is needed for the rest of the year and into 2017, says the United Nations.

A vital funding conference in Geneva next month could save the day, otherwise "it won't be long before we could be in the painful position of having to turn away sick and starving children," says the U.S.-based Save the Children.

Some 2.6 million people including more than 1 million children have been driven from their homes by Nigeria's 7-year-old insurgency that has killed more than 20,000 people, left food-producing fields fallow, disrupted trade routes and destroyed wells, bridges and entire towns.

President Muhammadu Buhari last month set up a presidential committee to coordinate aid and the rebuilding of the northeast, even as an end to the rainy season has brought a predictable upsurge in attacks on military outposts and urban suicide bombings by the Islamic extremists.

Buhari and Nigeria's military have said aerial bombardments and a ground offensive that have forced the insurgents out of most towns has the extremists on the run. But aid agencies say they can barely venture outside Maiduguri for fear of attack and are using helicopters to reach dangerous areas.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Health, AP Health - Children's Health, AP World News
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Revelers say goodbye to a year of conflicts, deadly violence
People around the world are bidding a weary adieu to a year filled with political surprises, prolonged conflicts, deadly attacks at gatherings and celebrity deaths
11:58PM ( 10 months ago )
Get ready for a blockbuster sequel: Alabama vs. Clemson
Get ready for a blockbuster sequel: Alabama vs. Clemson, The Rematch
11:31PM ( 10 months ago )
With Ohio State shutout, Clemson earns another shot at 'Bama
Clemson's redemption: By shutting out Ohio State, the Tigers earn another shot at 'Bama
11:25PM ( 10 months ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Rural New Mexico exports mentoring model for physicians
A mentoring program for physicians in rural areas is being tapped by the federal government to expand access to specialized care
1:41PM ( 10 months ago )
Obama's last month: 'Obamacare' defense, Chicago speech
President Barack Obama and Democratic lawmakers will meet next week to forge a common strategy to stop Republicans from destroying his signature health care law
2:43PM ( 10 months ago )
Obama's last month: 'Obamacare' huddle, Chicago speech
President Barack Obama will strategize next week with Democratic lawmakers about how to prevent Republicans from destroying his Affordable Care Act
1:36PM ( 10 months ago )
AP Health
Eric Trump stops fundraising for his charity after scrutiny
One of President-elect Donald Trump's sons says concerns about donations to his namesake foundation being perceived as a way to buy access to his father have made him stop directly raising money for the organization
11:25AM ( 10 months ago )
Amid scrutiny, Eric Trump to stop raising money for charity
One of President-elect Donald Trump's sons will stop directly raising money for his namesake charitable foundation, saying he worries the donations will be perceived as a way to buy access to his father
1:02AM ( 10 months ago )
Britain OKs making babies from DNA of 3 people in some cases
Britain's fertility regulator has approved controversial techniques allowing doctors to create babies using DNA from three people to help prevent a small number of children from inheriting potentially fatal diseases from their mothers
12:16PM ( 11 months ago )
AP Health - Children's Health
New UN chief wants consensus but faces antagonistic Trump
Antonio Guterres took the reins of the United Nations on New Year's Day, promising to be a "bridge-builder" but facing an antagonistic incoming U.S. administration led by Donald Trump who thinks the world body's 193 member states do nothing except talk
9:39PM ( 10 months ago )
Revelers say goodbye to a year of deadly violence, conflicts
People around the world are bidding a weary adieu to a year filled with political surprises, prolonged conflicts, deadly attacks at gatherings and deaths of legendary celebrities
9:10PM ( 10 months ago )
US states, leery of Russia malware, re-examine cybersecurity
Several U.S. states are asking cybersecurity experts to re-examine state and utility networks after a malware code U.S. officials say is linked to Russian hackers was found on a Vermont utility's laptop
8:57PM ( 10 months ago )
AP World News
Zimbabwe ruling party fires Mugabe as chief; now impeachment
Zimbabwe ruling party fires Mugabe as its chief; impeachment said to be next on Tuesday
8:02AM ( 12 minutes ago )
The Latest: Zimbabwe ruling party fires Mugabe as its chief
The Latest: Zimbabwe's ruling party fires Mugabe as party chief, replaces him with sacked VP
7:42AM ( 31 minutes ago )
2nd round of Mugabe exit talks as ruling party ousting him
Mugabe departure talks enter 2nd round as Zimbabwe's impatient ruling party ousting him
7:27AM ( 46 minutes ago )
German parties forge ahead with talks on new government
Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc and two smaller parties are seeking compromises on the thorny issues of migration and climate change policies so they can proceed with formal talks on forming a new coalition government
7:11AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Zimbabwe ruling party recalling Mugabe as chief
The Latest: Zimbabwe ruling party recalling Mugabe as party head, replacing him with fired VP
7:05AM ( 1 hour ago )