7 February, 2010 – New approach will see improved treatment of acute malnutrition in northern states
Khartoum, Sudan - The government of Sudan’s capacity to treat children suffering from severe acute malnutrition will be doubled this year thanks to the rollout in northern states of Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM).
The rollout of CMAM, announced today by the Federal Ministry of Health, will mean that 60,000 children with severe acute malnutrition can be treated in 2010 – double the capacity of previous treatments.
Since CMAM was started in Darfur in 2001 more than 100,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition have been treated.
Supported by the Federal Ministry of Health and UNICEF, using the CMAM approach, most children who are severely malnourished can be treated at home with a high protein, high-energy peanut-based nutritional supplement, called Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF).
This means children and their families don’t have to go to often hard-to-reach hospitals or therapeutic feeding centres for inpatient care unless there is a medical complication. Initially, this approach will be extended to Kassala, Gadaref, Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, followed by expansion to other states.
“This approach to treating acute malnutrition is a fast, simple and safe way to save children’s lives,” said Nils Kastberg, UNICEF’s Representative in Sudan.
“Malnutrition contributes to 60 per cent of the deaths of children who die from preventable illnesses in SudanMalnutrition contributes to 60 per cent of the deaths of children who die from preventable illnesses in Sudan. A real financial commitment by the government to invest in the area could yield amazing results in a short timespan,” Mr Kastberg added.
An estimated 210,000 children have severe acute malnutrition in the northern states of Sudan. According to the most recent estimates, maternal and child undernutrition contributes to more than one third of child deaths.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, safe water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
For further information, please contact:
Amber Henshaw, Chief, Media & External Relations, UNICEF Sudan
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Douglas Armour, Manager, Communications & Advocacy, UNICEF Southern Sudan Area Programme,
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Abdel-Rahman Ghandour, Regional Chief, Communication, UNICEF Middle East and North Africa
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