May 20, 2005

25% of toddlers suffer malnutrition

(z) Sudanese Red Crescent (SRC) conducted a joint nutrition survey on 22 April in Odi, Hamoshkoraib locality Kassala State, targeting children under-five years. The survey found Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) at 24.6 percent for children under five. Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) was reported at 3.4 percent. Primary factors that contributed to the deterioration of the nutritional status among children include access to food and clean drinking water.

Due to the severity of the situation, SRC recommended blanket supplementary feeding for all children under-five years for a three-month period to be followed by targeted supplementary feeding for children under-five years and pregnant and nursing women. Additionally, SRC recommended measles vaccination for all under-fives as the survey indicated that out of the 203 children screened, only one child was vaccinated. Limited access to safe water was reported as the biggest risk factor for morbidity and malnutrition.

The survey stressed that an appropriate strategy needs to be formulated immediately to address the critical safe water needs through the drilling of new boreholes, in conjunction with hygiene and health awareness. Meanwhile, WFP is currently reviewing a proposal submitted by SRC for a supplementary feeding programme in Odi.

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