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UN agencies are failing severely malnourished children in Tanzania

Despite efforts from the government and donors, a doctor shares his experiences struggling to save malnourished children In Tanzania nearly 2% of under-fives are malnourished. Photograph: Graeme Robertson For the past year I’ve been running a children’s ward in rural Tanzania. Every day I treat severe acute malnutrition (SAM), a condition responsible for over half a million deaths in under-fives each year. These children are either emaciated, weighing less than 70% of what they should, or have oedematous malnutrition, where their legs, and in severe cases, whole bodies, become swollen. Without calorie-dense micronutrient-enriched therapeutic foods up to two thirds will die. Managed properly,…