Nutrition

Preventing and treating malnutrition in South Sudan

A woman holds her daughter, who is being checked for malnourishment.
UNICEF/UN0232174/Njiokiktjien VII Photo

Challenge

Too many children don’t have a healthy start in life and are faced with life-long challenges due to poor nutrition.

High levels of food insecurity leave many children hungry, while the food they have access often don’t contain all the essential nutrients needed to help them grow and develop. Frequent diarrhoea, due to poor access to clean water and sanitation further aggravates the situation. The majority of the population live far from a health facility, making early detection and treatment of malnutrition challenging.

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Solution

Screening and timely treatment of acutely malnourished children is paramount.

In 2018, the recovery rate for acutely malnourished children in UNICEF’s outpatient therapeutic programme was 88 %. Larger investments in preventive measures such as the promotion of breastfeeding and nutrition counselling are highly effective. Chronic malnutrition rates reduced from 31 % to 17 % between 2010 and 2018. Working with the health and WASH sectors further reduces risks and improves access to services.