"Known as the “hunger gap”, rural malnutrition recurs seasonally when crops are scarce and the 80 percent of Burkinabe who depend on subsistence farming lose their primary source of nourishment.
Jessica Dimmock tenderly captures the heartbreaking emotional strains experienced by a young, hard working mother, Natasha, simply trying to feed her children. Alone at 24, she scavenges firewood to sell in the market. Her meager earnings force an impossible choice: between buying food or medicine for her three children.
Natasha brings her young son Alexi to an MSF clinic in northern Burkina Faso which has treated more than 40,000 malnourished children over the last three years. MSF workers there use a bracelet that measures a child’s middle-upper arm circumference (called a MUAC) to identify potentially malnourished children. The tool allows health workers to screen a large number of children in a short period of time. Those who are seriously ill are hospitalized free of charge by MSF teams in regional health facilities. However, around 85 percent of the children can be cared for at home by their parents because the ready-to-use food is so simple to administer."