25th November 2020
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Floods expose Jonglei children to malnutrition – UNICEF

Author: Garang Abraham | Published: Monday, October 26, 2020

A malnourished child under UNICEF's nutrition feeding program at Bor Civil Hospital being held by her aunt | Credit | Garang Abraham/Eye Radio

The number of malnourished children in greater Jonglei is increasing daily due to impacts created by floods, the UN children’s agency says.

According to UNICEF, more than 12 children have died of acute malnutrition in Jonglei State alone in the last nine months.

Between January and September, UNICEF says it admitted 32, 248 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition; while 63,277 others were admitted due to moderate acute malnutrition.

The UN agency said through 167 nutrition centers across Greater Jonglei region, it has treated and discharged over 60, 000 children after treatment of both moderate and acute malnutrition.

“There is going to be severe hunger because harvests and livelihoods have been affected and this can pose a big risk. There is going to be a high likelihood of severe hunger and severe acute malnutrition,” said Akangi Peter, UNICEF’s nutrition field monitor in Jonglei State.

The state has been devastated by flash floods that have been ongoing since May 2020.

According to the state Relief and Rehabilitation Commission, more than 340,000 people from its 9 counties have been displaced by the persistent flash floods.

The continuous displacement, UNICEF believes, affects the livelihoods of mothers and children.

Akangi says besides efforts exerted by the agency to prevent malnutrition, the government should establish plans to tackle upcoming disasters such as famine.

“Women and children are accommodated in schools; some of them are at neighborhoods. Basically, accommodation is one of the main challenges right now, as they also lack food. If you move around, you can see most of the farms being destroyed by floods,” Akangi stressed.

Last week, the management of Bor Civil Hospital said the facility had run out of drugs yet it receives more than 500 patients daily.

Just last month alone, hospital authorities also said more than seven people died of causes related to water-borne diseases.

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