UNICEF’s nutrition program brings back life in Malakal PoC
By Kitab A Unango
Mothers residing at Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites are calling on the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) South Sudan to continue with their support in fighting against malnutrition in Malakal.
The mother who spoke to Juba Monitor at Malakal PoC yesterday praised the UNICEF for their support saying most of their malnourished children have been treated since UNICEF intensified the Outpatient Therapeutic Program in Malakal.
20 year old Sarah James, a mother of two whose first born survived from malnutrition said she completely lost hope but when UNICEF started Nutrition centre at the PoC, her baby was treated and is now healthy.
”I am very happy now, she is okay. She could not eat and I thought she would not live anymore. Thanks to the UNICEF for saving her life. She is fine,” said the joyous Sarah.
”When I brought her to the hospital in January (2020), they advised me to keep her hands always clean and give her nutritious paste three times a day, I always do that up to today and she has become healthy,” she added.
The UNICEF in partnership with the World Bank has undertaken several health projects in Upper Nile State which includes nutrition program for children with severe cases of malnutrition.
The project was implemented by the International Medical Corps (IMC) in five counties in the state.
Emmanuel Deng, IMC Deputy Nutrition Program Manager in Malakal said they have treated over 50 severe cases of malnutrition in PoC and about 450 cases are yet to be addressed.
”We have Outpatient Therapeutic Program where we are serving severe malnutrition cases which is hundred percent supported by UNICEF in terms of finance and supplies.
”From January to February 2020, we have about 50 malnutrition cases and yet we have a target of more that 450 expected to be admitted this year ”
”But we have managed to admit 46 cases in Outpatient Therapeutic Program,” Deng said.
Lucia Solomon 26, resident of Malakal PoC site thanked for the UNICEF for the program.
She says many children would die from malnutrition if such program was withdrawn at PoC in Malakal.
She called on UNICEF and partners to continue providing support to mothers and pregnant women who could not afford to put enough and nutritious food on the table for their children.
”All this happening to our children is because some of us cannot buy enough food for our children. What I want to say is let UNICEF not stop this service now. We need them to help our children grow healthy until peace comes and we return homes,” Lucia said.
James Rout, IMC Medical Officer at PoC site promised that with support from UNICEF, the organization continue to provide services to the IDPs until they return to their respective homes.
‘”We continue advising people to keep on coming to receive our free services and we are there for them until there is further security improvement where they are able to return to their original displaced areas,” said Ruot