London, 26 July: Malaria Consortium Southern Sudan has received a $1.3 million grant to implement a one year community based nutrition project in seven counties in Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Unity states.
Children with infectious diseases who are also malnourished are around nine times more likely to die from their illness than those with no malnutrition. In recognistion of the close links between health and nutrition, the nutrition project will build upon Malaria Consortium’s existing integrated community case management (iCCM) programme, which aims to treat malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia at community level.
“Malaria Consortium has developed a great deal of expertise in treating diseases at community level and the integration of nutrition into this model is a really exciting development,” said Project,” said Antonia Pannell, programme coordinator for the iCCM project in Southern Sudan . “Health and nutrition are so intrinsically linked and, in the context of Southern Sudan with such high levels of food insecurity and with such a large proportion of the population malnourished, nutrition should not be forgotten if health programmes are to have an impact.”
Community drug distributors will be trained to screen children for malnutrition, as well as diagnose and treat these three diseases. Those children that are found to be severely malnourished will be referred to one of 100 community-based outpatient therapeutic feeding sites for specialised treatment and supervision. These sites will be located in areas found to have particularly high rates of severe malnutrition.
Given the considerable food insecurity and unacceptably high rates of malnutrition in Southern Sudan, this project provides an excellent opportunity to address malnutrition at the community level before complications arise.
This is the first community-based nutrition project in Southern Sudan to be implemented at such a decentralised level and it is expected to provide important lessons for the health and nutrition sector on the best approach for future replication of the project.
The grant was awarded by the Common Humanitarian Fund, a common funding mechanism established by a number of donors and UN Organisations to support a comprehensive Work Plan that provides a coordinated approach to the delivery of humanitarian aid in Sudan. It is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and year-long grants are awarded to non-profit organisations whose activities are incorporated into this Work Plan.
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