Prevention, identification and treatment of malnutrition and related circumstances
Malnutrition is a condition that results from eating a diet in which one or more nutrients are either not enough or are too much such that the diet causes health problems. It may involve calories, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins or minerals, a devastating illness on an epidemic scale suffered by 52 million children under five all over the world. It is the result of a lack of food or an unsuitable diet. Every year, it leads to the deaths of more than 3.1 million children. These deaths could be avoided with the proper nutritional treatment.
The food security and nutrition situation in South Sudan has been deteriorating in recent years due to outbreak of conflicts, poor production, disruption of markets, rapid rise in prices, diseases and natural disasters such as floods and drought in parts of the country. With the ongoing macroeconomic crisis including the rapid depreciation of the South Sudanese Pound, hyper-inflation and thus the huge surge in food prices, the urban food insecurity has been of particular concern.
That is why we believe that if malnutrition is a heavy burden for millions of children worldwide, then nutrition could be an excellent investment. Improving a population’s nutritional state strengthens its capacities and stimulates the development process, thus leading to less poverty.
Our approach to fight malnutrition:
- Evaluate nutritional needs
- We gather key nutritional data in order to evaluate the causes of malnutrition, including local capacities and resources, cultural practices, access to infrastructure and geography. These surveys are essential for implementing an effective response.
- Treat acute malnutrition
- We treat cases of severe acute malnutrition through hospital-based medical attention (for cases that show complications) and through a community-based out-patient approach. Without the right treatment, malnourished women and children face imminent death.
- Prevent acute malnutrition
- We work to prevent the causes that lead to malnutrition through all our key action points in the fields of food security, primary health care, access to water, sanitation and hygiene and disaster prevention
- Building local capacity
- We strengthen local public health systems in order to fight malnutrition and integrate our programs into the existing healthcare structures. When crises disappear, we adapt our programs to become part of the healthcare systems and pass on our experience to local organizations.
- Research and innovation
- We continuously improve the quality and impact of our work through research into fields associated with the prevention and treatment of malnutrition.