WUKRO, Ethiopia/GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations children’s agency said on Friday that more than 100,000 children in Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray could suffer life-threatening malnutrition in the next 12 months, a 10-fold increase to normal numbers.
“Our worst fears about the health and well-being of children... are being confirmed,” she told a briefing in Geneva.
Spokespeople for the prime minister and a government task force on Tigray - where fighting between rebellious regional and federal forces have continued since November - did not immediately respond to requests for comment on UNICEF’s statement.
Babies like 20-month-old Aammanuel Merhawi are suffering the most. He is a third below normal weight for his age. His feverish eyes glisten and his ribs are visible as he heaves, vomiting supplementary food fed through a nasal tube. All are signs of severe malnutrition.
Aid agencies say they are about to run out of the formula used to treat 4,000 severely malnourished children every month.
At least three children have died in Wukro hospital since February, nurse Tsehaynesh Gebrehiwot said.
All died within days of admission.