Unicef estimates 22 million children have been left hungry, sick, displaced and out of school in the four countries, and nearly 1.4 million are at imminent risk of death this year from severe malnutrition.
- Childhood illnesses observed at the time of drought were respiratory (7.5 %), gastroentrological (7.5%), and 5.6% fever (viral, malaria and jaundice), higher in males than females.
- Children suffered from recent and long term malnutrition were 39% and 26% respectively as per National Centre for Health Statistics (NCHS) standards. The extent of malnutrition was significantly higher in females than in males (p<0.01).
- Vitamin A & B complex deficiencies were 0.7% and 3/% respectively. The protein energy malnutrition (PEM) was observed in 44.4%. Overall mean calorie and protein intake deficit was observed to be very high (76.0 & 54.0 %) .
- Many schools have run out of water
- School feeding programmes have stopped:
- Children have to help their families search for food and water
- Children and their families are migrating to different areas
- Children are struggling to concentrate and learn due to hunger and dehydration:
- Scabies – a contagious skin disease which is prevalent in times of drought – is becoming a serious health factor affecting children’s learning:
- Loss of assets and livelihoods has compromised the capacity of parents and caregivers to send their children to school
- Teacher absenteeism: some teachers are also absent from class in order to search for food and water or have moved to different areas.
- Effective measures making availability of adequate calories and proteins to all age groups especially to under five children through the ongoing nutrition programs needs to be ensured.
- Diversification of foods in the affected areas.
- Developing innovative ways that will reduce the dependance on rain fed agriculture.
- Train children from a young age on sustainable food security methods
- A collaborative response to the drought.
- A rapid assessment on child protection issues in the drought.
- Implement the drought response strategy in Kenya.
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