Press Release

International Medical Corps Implements Campaign to Address Malnutrition in Gaza

Global humanitarian organisation International Medical Corps, working in partnership with UNICEF and the Gaza and Palestine Nutrition Cluster, is implementing the “Find and Treat” campaign to address growing rates of malnutrition among children under 5 in Gaza. According to a recent needs assessment by the Global Nutrition Cluster, the situation in Gaza is alarming: the ongoing conflict has significantly worsened child malnutrition from a Global Acute Malnutrition rate of 0.8% to 16% in northern Gaza and 7% in the rest of Gaza.

The Find and Treat campaign is:

  • identifying malnourished children through mass screening programmes;
  • providing therapeutic treatment in the form of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) to identified children;
  • increasing micronutrient supplementation; and
  • enrolling children in existing or newly established outpatient therapeutic programs (OTPs) for follow-up care.

The campaign, which began June 4, is first engaging and mobilising community members, raising awareness about malnutrition and its treatment, and building acceptance of the program. Then, leveraging a network of community health workers, International Medical Corps is rolling out mass screening of children under 5 across all districts in Gaza, treating malnourished children with RUTF and referring those who need additional treatment to OTPs. The humanitarian organisation recently received 100 metric tons of RUTF from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which is staged at International Medical Corps’ warehouse and ready for distribution.

The healthcare system in Gaza is under immense strain due to the conflict. Many hospitals are non-functional, and there is a shortage of medical supplies. This is why International Medical Corps has opened two field hospitals: a 160-bed facility in Al Mawasi in southern Gaza, and a 50-bed facility in Deir al Balah, in the middle region. Though the facility in Al Mawasi has temporarily shifted operations to Deir al Balah due to security concerns, International Medical Corps is continuing to provide a wide range of health services to civilians in Gaza, including nutrition; emergency and trauma care; obstetric and newborn care; mental health and psychosocial support; child protection; and gender-based violence prevention and response services.

The Find and Treat Campaign seeks to significantly improve the nutritional status of children under 5 in Gaza. By working collaboratively with stakeholders, implementing a well-coordinated approach and addressing the underlying challenges in the healthcare system, International Medical Corps and its partners will help to ensure a healthier future for Gaza’s children.

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