Cyclone damage and nutritional status
Request for data on effect of cyclone damage on nutritional status Claudia Rokx 19.05.2000
Re: Request for data on effect of cyclone damage on nutritional status Olivia Yambi 22.05.2000
cyclone damage and nutritional status Stephan Meershoek 22.05.2000
Effect of cyclone damage on nutritional status: Bangladesh data Andrew Hall 24.05.2000
Re: Request for data on effect of cyclone damage Claudia Rokx 29.05.2000

Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 18:42:56 +0100


Subject: Request for data on effect of cyclone damage on nutritional status


Madagascar has been hit by three cyclones between February and April.

There has been extensive crop losses, both subsistence and export, deterioration in sanitary conditions and reduced access to health facilities. This coupled with an overburdening of women's time for care taking, due to rebuilding and survival, I think is enough to expect malnutrition rates to increase in the near future.

However, to be sure and have some evidence that this is likely to happen, would any of you have some post-cyclone data of increased malnutrition to justify going into the hit areas with preventive measures (growth monitoring and promotion, IEC and collaboration with others on provision of food for the malnourished and linking with infrastructure projects for rebuilding).

I would very much appreciate if anyone can send me some experiences in other countries and in particular post-cyclone experiences and data.

Thanks a lot,



Claudia Rokx, Nutrition Specialist
World Bank
Phone: 202-473-3619


Note Added by Mike Golden:

In Jamaica after Hurricane Gilbert there was little change in anthropometry - but there was a major change in folate status in a cohort being followed longitudinally - and an increase in neural tube defects. Changes in eating patterns can lead to type II deficiencies even if there are no major changes in anthropometry. Although in less developed countries than Jamaica these are very likely.

Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 16:26:52 -0700

From: (Olivia Yambi)

Subject: Re: Request for data on effect of cyclone damage on n

Cc: (Cyridion Ahimana), (Angele Razafinombana)


Dear Angele and Cyridion

Would you have any inforamation that could be provided to Claudia?


Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 15:31:02 +0100

From: Stephan Meershoek <>

Subject: cyclone damage and nutritional status


Dear Claudia,

Mozambique has been hit by the same cyclones and experienced serious floods. MoH Nutrition Unit did a rapid assessment (using MUAC) end of March in some of the accomodation centres, which did not show very serious problems: 1% sever malnutrition (MUAC < 11.0 cm or oedema) and 6% moderate malnutrition (MUAC 11.0- 12.5 cm). It should be noted that these are all areas which received more or less regular food distribution. Malnutrition rates were higher in children < 35 months old and in children that had had diarrhoea during the last 2 weeks.

Last week we started a more complete nutritional survey, using W/H in all provinces affected by the cyclones and floods. This should show us the extend of nutrition problems and areas most affected. It will be one of the tools, to be used to target future assistance. Others are the recent crop assessment of the 1st harvest, possibilities of 2nd harvest, adequacy of food distribution, geografical isolation. We expect problems to be more severe in those areas that have been cut off for several months (most of them still not accessable, which complicates our study as well).

We expect to have preliminary results in about a month. For those who are interested, please contact us by that time at

Best regards,


Stephan Meershoek, Nutritionist MoH/FAO
Maputo, Mozambique

Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 10:23:12 +0100

From: Andrew Hall <>

Subject: Effect of cyclone damage on nutritional status: Bangladesh data


Dear Claudia

I forwarded your message posted on NGO Nutrition to my colleagues here at Helen Keller International Bangladesh, Reza Sharier Khan and Nasreen Huq, who were not aware of the NGO Nutrition list, and Reza has provided the text below. Nasreen and colleagues are looking at means of HAZ, WHZ and WAZ for the year of the cyclone in Teknaf and for the preceeding and following year for comparison, if data are available.

I hope the relatively rapid rebound shown below was because of food relief to the victims rather than child mortality. We will investigate, if possible.

Regards, Andrew Hall


In May 1994, a cyclone hit the coastal areas of Bangladesh. We have data from one of the severely hit areas called Teknaf based on bi-monthly anthropometric surveys of random samples of children at each survey. It is evident from the data that in the June 1994 round of routine anthropometric measurements wasting was very high among pre-school children (the prevalence of whz <-2 sd was 35.3% and whz <-3 sd was 10.9%). June is normally a season when malnutrition reaches its peak anyway in this country, but this peak is usually in the range of 15-19% for <-2 sd and 0.7-1.6% for <-3 sd. The prevalence in Teknaf is therefore a clear indication that acute malnutrition was very high due to this cyclone. The situation after June round tended to have stabilized and came down to the normal level (range in 1995 was 8.2-12.6%).

Prevalence of wasting in Teknaf 1994.

Round whz <-2 sd whz <-3 sd
Apr 94 18.2 2.8
Jun 94 35.3 10.9
Aug 94 11.8 0.5


Andrew Hall MSc, PhD, Country Director
Helen Keller International, Bangladesh
38, Road 14A, Dhanmondi, Dhaka
P.O. Box 6066, Gulshan, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh
Tel: 880 2 811 6156 (PABX), Fax: 880 2 811 3310

From: Claudia Rokx,

Subject: Re: Request for data on effect of cyclone damage

To: (cyridion ahimana)

Cc: (olivia yambi),

Date: Mon, 29 May 2000 12:27:26 -0400


Thanks Cyridion,

I have read the full report that I finally received and have a lot of questions about the results, since more districts improved than worsened.

It will be interesting to look at other factors. Also the data was compared with 1998 data, so not just before the cyclone, we cannot be sure the changes are all and only due to the cyclone (as the results actually already inply).




Claudia Rokx,Nutrition Specialist
World Bank
Phone: 202-473-3619