In our South Sudan hospital, we’re treating children and babies that suffer from malnutrition. The predominant poverty, along with the insufficient supply situation and starvation resulting from it are leading to malnutrition, especially among the youngest. This is why Cap Anamur welcomes strongly underfed children to a feeding program every month.
South Sudan and especially the Nuba mountains are a fertile area, usually – if it wasn’t for the decades-spanning war, which destroys entire villages, makes a fruitful agriculture nearly impossible and pushes people to flee from their homes. The citizens live under constant fear of being bombed again.
That’s why many people escaped into the Nuba mountains, where stony caves offered them security. But the price in most cases was for them to give up their home and property.
Self-supply in the mountains is only possible in a limited way, and due to the missing infrastructure, the available supply with food and clean water is not enough for everyone.
Poverty and starvation are on a rise, due to the bad supply situation. This hits babies, toddlers and children particularly hard – the number of underfed children is high. Especially during the rains, when last year’s supply is exhausted and the new crop isn’t yet ready, hunger increases steadily. The children are weakened and barely have any power left to fight the upcoming malaria infections.
Cap Anamur’s hospital in the Nuba mountains hosts underfed children all year, but during the rains, their number is twice as high. In times of heavy rainfalls and malaria, malnutrition under children and the subsequent mortality rate increases significantly.
Feeding program against malnutrition
Our feeding program ensures a steady supply of adequate food servings, leading to a considerable improvement of the children’s nutritional status over a long period of time. Top priority is to raise their body weight to a healthy standard, a process that calls for medical support in order to avoid negative consequences for the kids as a result of inadequate or excessive food intake.
Kalo, 11 months old, was admitted to the Cap Anamur hospital in Lwere 7 weeks prior, severely underfed at 4.2kg, compared to the standard weight of 7.5 kg for children in his age.
He received transfusions on multiple occasions and struggled with pneumonia, malaria and diarrhea, because his body was by far too weak to battle these diseases. In his first days in our hospital, he was merely able to lie down or needed to be carried in one’s arms.
Today, he’s back to sitting and crawling and infects the whole room with his laughter. He’s weighing 6.5kg now, allowing him to go back home with his siblings. His progress will be accompanied and monitored for a few more weeks as part of the Outfeeding program. Kalo regained so much strength that now, he can weather infectious diseases much better.