Three straight years of below-average rainfall have left some 2.6 million people in northern Kenya struggling to find enough to eat. As crops and livestock are lost to the severe drought, food prices have quadrupled and malnutrition is on the rise. The United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF, has found that more than half of children it recently screened in Turkana County were acutely malnourished.
International Rescue Committee mobile health teams are reaching remote villages in the bushlands of Turkana, treating thousands of cases of malnutrition. IRC aid worker Purity Mwangi shares what it’s like to spend weeks on the road away from her family, sleeping outside in the extreme heat alongside scorpions, to make sure that women and children at risk of starvation get the food and medical attention they need.