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Over 90,000 children saved by UNICEF nutrition programme

By James Atem Kuir

At least 95,713 children have recovered from life-threatening malnutrition after receiving therapeutic food from UNICEF nutrition programme between January and September in Jonglei state.

The United Nations International Children Education Fund nutrition programme in Jonglei state has treated at least 32486 severely acute malnourished or SAM and 63227 moderate acute malnourished or MAM children over a period of nine months.

The data recorded from a number of health facilities supported the children agency also revealed 12 cases of fatalities as a result of malnutrition.

The programme also trains pregnant and lactating mothers on best practices to keep children healthy during infancy.

Akangi Peter, UNICEF nutrition field monitor in Bor town of Jonglei state said UNICEF is partnering with Save The Children in implementing nutrition programmes for children in need across 16 nutrition sites in Bor South County.

He said the provision of nutrition feeding has reached at least 30,000 severely malnourished children in Bor County alone.

“From this year, UNICEF with partners have managed over 30,000 with severe malnutrition cases among children in Bor South County in 16 nutrition sites located in Primary Health Care Units and one hospital,” he said during a two days UNICEF sponsored media trip to Bor town last week.

In light of the ongoing flooding in the State, the children agency together with partners scaled up support and stretched further close to the most affected victims of floods across the state.

Philip Deng, an uncle to the 9 months’ old Saber Amour said her condition has improved when she started receiving the therapeutic food through tube compared to earlier days.

Deng said baby Saber was admitted for nutrition programme at Bor state Hospital after being transferred from Awerial County when her condition deteriorated about a week earlier.

“Saber illness started when her mother became sick, she is still very sick in Gulyar. When I brought Saber to this hospital, I didn’t know she would still be alive up to now but God is great, she is getting better after receiving the nuts provided by UNICEF. I wish she could completely recover very soon,” Deng said. 

Meanwhile Nyanwut Aleer Chol, a mother of10 months’ twin at Malou IDP collection center said her two babies are now recovering after they have been given the therapeutic food provided by UNICEF.

“I was staying in my home in Malou residential area before the flood came…I moved in here when my home became flooded with water.

Before they were given the nuts, the babies were severely malnourished, they are now getting better now,” she said.

She decried overcrowding and lack of proper shelter and blankets as some of the challenges facing them in the center.

“I would request UNICEF to help us with plastic sheets and blankets, all our belongings have been washed away and destroyed by flood waters,” she added.

Apart from nutrition program, UNICEF is also providing incentives to health workers, implementing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene and program or WASH as well as supplying drugs to the facilities across the state.

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