UN: UN launches mass children nutrition screening in South Sudan

New York, US (PANA) - The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have stepped up their activities in South Sudan after the recently released Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) revealed that nearly 237,000 children in the country are estimated to be suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

A UN statement obtained by PANA in New York on Friday said UNICEF and WFP jointly launched a mass mobilization campaign on Thursday, where 240 trained volunteers will go door-to-door to assess and screen more than a quarter of a million children in Warrap, South Sudan till the end of the year, and refer those with malnutrition to health facilities and other nutrition treatment centres.

According to the statement, Vilma Tyler, Chief of Nutrition for UNICEF in South Sudan, said:  
"Visiting every single home will help ensure that children who are malnourished or sick will
be referred for treatment and will receive life-saving care."

Meanwhile, community volunteers, who have been trained by the state Ministry
of Health with support from UNICEF and WFP, will teach mothers and caregivers how to keep
their children healthy through best practices on nutrition, hygiene and sanitation.

Similar campaigns conducted in 2014 helped the UN agencies to strengthen response
around prevention and treatment of malnutrition by better providing communities
with food and access to services to treat both severe and moderate acute malnutrition.

According to the IPC report, at least 30,000 people are living in extreme conditions and face
starvation and death in the country and in Warrap, about 26,000 children are thought to be
acutely malnourished.

The report also observed that despite Warrap not being directly affected by the ongoing
conflict, the acute levels of food insecurity, inadequate food consumption, poor maternal
and child feeding practices, illnesses and limited availability of health and nutrition services
have contributed to the high numbers of malnourished children.

UNICEF has treated nearly 100,000 severely malnourished children under five at its
outpatient therapeutic programme services, and WFP assisted more than 205,000
moderately malnourished children under five since January 2015.

However, the UN agencies warned that basic health and nutrition services remain out of
reach for most children in South Sudan.
-0-  PANA   AA/AR   30Oct2015

30 october 2015 14:58:30

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