Improving nutrition status in children under 5 suffering acute or severe malnutrition in Ayod County, Jonglei State, South Sudan

Even if recently Ayod County seems to have re-established a higher security level, during 2013 the situation worsened due to the long-lasting rainy season, to population movements and inter-tribal conflicts in the neighboring areas. Ayod County has then to face another year of emergencies.
In June a new measles epidemic broke out and since July a higher number of Kala-azar cases have been registered in the endemic zones, such as Pagil and Jiech payams. Moreover, the rainy season strongly hit the County in terms of health and nutrition needs. In march 2013 the first SMART (Standardised Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions) survey had been carried out aiming at defining the nutritional status of the population to evaluate the gravity and assessing the impact of acute malnutrition and mortality rate during the post-harvest period. The SMART survey has also allowed to analyze the anti-measles vaccination coverage on children under 1yo and to estimate the prevalence of malnutrition in pregnant and lactating women.
The research highlighted a concerning level of acute malnutrition, that exceed WHO emergency threshold, affecting mainly young male adults. The results clearly evidenced a weak access to nutrition programs and to sanitary centers during the year, a poor sanitary service in the remote or inaccessible areas and food insecurity rising from improper environmental and agricultural practices.
This project aims to contribute to the reduction of mortality amongst children under 5 yo, suffering from acute malnutrition, kala-azar and TB. Through the project we’ll reach the following results:
– 89% of patients with Kala-Azar or TB (men, women, children under 5yo, pregnant and lactating women) and severe or acute malnutrition will be screened, diagnosed, treated and included in the complementary nutrition program;
– The number of people able to recognize malnutrition cases will increase;
– The population of Ayod County will be aware of the importance of breastfeeding and of correct nutrition on children under 5.