Students of Juba University Join SUN
By Kitab A. Unango
About one hundred students of the University of Juba have joined the Scaling Up Nutrition initiative during a public lecture last Friday held at Hall One in the University.
Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) is an international movement aimed at mainstreaming nutrition in agriculture and South Sudan became a member in 2013.
Students said it was an important initiative that would solve the issues of lack of nutrients and malnutrition among adults and children. They said that these were the major causes of high mortality rate in the country.
According to South Sudan Integrated Food Classification Phase (IPC) for January to July released in February by South Sudan Bureau of Statistics and UN agencies, five counties in Jonglei (Ayod, Pibor, Akobo, Nyirol and Twic East), all counties in Northern Bahr el Ghazal (except Aweil Centre), Kapoeta East in Eastern Equatoria and Melut in Upper Nile state show Critical levels of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM 15.0%-29.9%).
Aligo Ring, one of the students at the College of Applied Science Department of Food and Sugar Processing who joined the initiative said that it was important to change the community habits and to aware them of the dangers of malnutrition.
“Mothers are nutritionists and this message should be taken to them in their localities to improve their health and their children,” Ring said.
According to Alice Juan a student of the College of Community Studies Department of Nutrition said it was high time to improve food security in the country. She added that it could only be done if students join the initiative to acquire the knowledge and take it to the community.
Speaking at the lecture organized by the coalition of SUN, SCO and Care International to raise awareness about dangers of lack of nutrition, Sandra Balet pointed out that the initiative was important to everyone to take part in.
She added that the purpose of the lecture was to impress the knowledge of agriculture to the students and find out how nutrition could be mainstreamed in to the agriculture.
“This is the first time for this to take place and it is important to everyone and students who are willing should come and join,” Balet said.
On his part, the representative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security Michael Lobuke Kenyi stated that poor nutrition affects the brain, adding that the initiative needed to be taken seriously to avert the prevailing malnutrition among children in the country.
He added that the food security in the country had deteriorated and collective efforts were needed from stakeholders.
“Government, partners and the communities should work together to solve the current problem of food security the country,” said Kenyi.