El Niño-Induced drought a health crisis for Zimbabwean children – UNICEF

Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, [email protected]

UNICEF has revealed that the El Niño-induced drought is causing significant health issues for children in Zimbabwe, including disease outbreaks, infectious and respiratory illnesses and heightened levels of malnutrition, which pose a threat to early childhood development.

According to a report by UNICEF it emphasizes that malnutrition contributes to the spread of diarrhoeal diseases and other water-scarce illnesses among children, further compounded by their reduced immunity.

UNICEF also highlights that the drought is exacerbating poverty and vulnerability among households, increasing the risk of school dropouts, violence, abuse, and exploitation against children.

“Zimbabwe is currently facing an El Niño emergency that severely affects children under five years old, pregnant and lactating women, and adolescents. These challenges coincide with existing public health emergencies related to cholera and polio, placing Zimbabwe in a complex, multi-dimensional humanitarian crisis,” states the report.

 

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