Medical charity Doctors Without Borders warned Tuesday over unprecedented levels of child mortality in southern Niger during the past month, with 10 children dying per day.
Most deaths are linked to surging cases of malaria or malnutrition that have forced the intensive paediatric care unit in the city of Magaria to fill up, said the charity which is known by its French acronym MSF.
“We have never seen anything like this before and we fear it’s just the tip of the iceberg,” said Dorian Job, head of MSF’s Niger programme.
Malaria cases normally rise this time of year because of the season, but the number this year is extraordinary, the charity added. “MSF medics believe they are only seeing one-sixth of the children who are in need of care.”