By Simon Deng
Several mothers who have recently visited nutrition center in Malual Agor Bar, located on the outskirts of Bor, capital of South Sudan’s jonglei state, are now grateful to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for providing life-saving support to their malnourished children.
Alual Madol, a mother of four living in Adet area of Bor is among thousands of people who have been displaced from Jale by heavy flooding in recent months.
She told The Juba Echo on Wednesday that the feeding program at the nutrition center has helped treat her severely malnourished children who have been lacking food due to the destruction of farms by floods.
“Our children are under the feeding program, it is a great work done by aid agencies. The feeding program is so helpful, most homes stay without food this feeding program has filled the gap,” said Madol.
The UN report released recently on South Sudan says about 68 percent of children are classified under IPC Acute Malnutrition (AMN) Phase 3 with nutrition caseload of approximately 1.4 million children under- five expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021, including 313,391 children who are projected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition.
“My child was admitted in November suffering from pneumonia-related complication, difficulty in breathing and vomiting especially during cold weather, our children have now been saved,” said Madol.
“Our living condition is so bad but the feeding program is the best program that has helped our children,” she added.
Yar mac, 24- year -old mother of four said that the nutrition program has saved her child’s death, noting that the child has been under the nutrition feeding program for over 4 months since May this year.
“My child is 10 months old since I brought the baby in May to this center, she is now okay. The baby is provided with peanut and also drugs for treatment, it is hunger that is causing malnourishment,” said Mac.
She urged UNICEF to continue supporting the population to mitigate malnutrition among children.
Philip Ayuen, community nutrition officer working for Save the Children, said that the nutrition center is saving severely malnourished children, adding that they have so far registered nearly 200 cases of acute malnutrition this year.
“We focus on those (children) that need urgent attention, our coverage varies from 16 per month. This center has been operating since 2014, we have outpatient therapeutic program which deals with under-five severely malnourished children and we also have targeted supplementary feeding program which deals with moderate cases,” said Ayuen.
He disclosed that malnutrition cases in the area are due to a combination of factors ranging from malaria and hunger.
“We do referrals if the child fails appetite test, we refer that child to Bor state hospital,” said Ayuen.
At least more than 8.3 million people in South Sudan are in dire need of humanitarian support this year, the highest figure since 2013 when the more than six years of conflict broke out.