Rosa Crestani – MSF emergency coordinator
"This year in Ethiopia there is a very serious nutritional crisis. There is a very bad situation, especially for the children, for the lack of food and many other factors that provoked this crisis. Since the beginning of May we have already taken in charge more than 60,000 children because of malnutrition. And this is the biggest operation we’ve made for nutrition in the last years for our organisation. We’ve opened more than 50 centres in Ethiopia since the beginning. The majority of malnourished, especially children, they come once a week in our centres. Here they receive a consultation, specialized food for malnutrition and a ration, a food ration, for their family. To help the family also to cover this problem of food. If the children, and the older malnourished have complications, medical complications especially, they are treated in centres, in hospitals, where there are doctors available 24 hours a day and where we have intensive care for the most severe cases.
The situation is getting better, because on one hand the nutritional food security situation is improving, and on the other hand of course we’re taking care of the majority of malnutrition in a bad situation. In the last month we restarted to move around and to check and to see if there are others “hotspots” as we call the place where we can find a bad situation or a high level of severe malnutrition. And we still continue to find these types of space. This means that the work will continue for the next weeks, perhaps the next months, and that the situation is not yet stabilised. We still continue to have programmes; we still have thousands of malnourished in our program."
(MSF via China.org.cn December 1, 2008)