MSF Opens Malnutrition Treatment Centre in Maiduguri



Médecins Sans Frontières otherwise called Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has opened a centre in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital for the treatment of children with complicated forms of malnutrition.

The MSF in a statement on Monday said, the centre named Nilefa Keji (which means ‘health is wealth’), has 120-bed and will provide both inpatient and outpatient treatment.

MSF assistant project coordinator Mohammed Dikko Abdullahi was quoted in the statement to have said: “The move from Fori to Nilefa Keji became necessary because we were seeing a lot of malnourished children in our facility,” noting that: “Fori nutrition centre had limited space for expansion and we needed to accommodate more people.”

The new facility has four emergency beds, 14 intensive care beds and two beds for children with kwashiorkor, a severe form of malnutrition (which causes the legs and body to swell). MSF teams will provide inpatient treatment for children with severe acute malnutrition and with moderate acute malnutrition accompanied by medical complications. The new centre also has an outpatient therapeutic feeding centre with space to accommodate more than 150 children and parents each day.

MSF project medical advisor, Rodel Lambatin said: “The medical team has seen increasing numbers of patients with malnutrition over the past couple of months and, looking at the trends at our hospital and recent reports on food security, we expect an increased number of patients in the coming months.”

To staff the new centre, MSF has recruited and trained additional Nigerian nurses, doctors, nutrition assistants and counsellors.

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From January to June 2021, MSF staff at Fori nutrition centre treated 1,110 children for severe acute malnutrition as inpatients and provided outpatient care to 1,122 children with moderate acute malnutrition.

The new centre at Nilefa Keji was completed over five months and includes improved infection prevention and control measures. It also has a rainwater channel, designed to prevent flooding and avoid the accumulation of standing water, which can attract insects and present a health risk.

“With the new site, we have more land for any needed extensions and we have more room for staff,” says MSF construction manager Jordan Gartner. “We will be able to handle more patients, especially during the peak malnutrition season.”

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