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South Sudan: WHO and Ministry of Health train more healthcare workers on management of Severe Acute Malnutrition

Source: World Health Organization
Country: South Sudan

Juba, 21 June 2019: To further strengthen the capacity of healthcare workers to manage cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition with Medical Complication (SAM /MC) in nutrition stablization centres, the Ministry of Health, Republic of South Sudan, with support from World Health Organization and other partners conducted a Master Training of Trainer on SAM/MC from 10 -15 June 2019 in Juba.

Twenty medical personnel, mainly medical doctors, nurses, nutritionists and clinical officers from various refferal and teaching hospitals who are expected to roll out the training to lower levels participated in the training. The training is aimed at improving the quality of life-saving services in nutrition stablization centres and reduce the mortality and morbidity resulting from mismanagement of SAM/MC. .

The country has been experiencing a deteriorating nutrition situation in the last five years (2014-2018). The burden of acute malnutrition remains significantly high, with over 1million children under five acutely malnourished in 2018. Results from the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) May –July 2019 analysis show that 59% of population is expected to face acute food insecurity. This indicates that acute malnutrition remains a major public health challenge in South Sudan.

The trained health workers will now be able to conduct nutrition assessment and identify the signs of SAM and conduct initial management of the medical complications in children with SAM. Furthermore, they will be able to feed children with SAM including infants less than 6 months and manage children in the In-patient Therapeutic Program (ITP) as well as monitor and solve problems in the ITP ward among others.

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Dr Hana Bekele, Technical Officer Nutrition, WHO Inter-Country Support Team, in her opening remarks during the training said in order to address the burden of severe acute malnutrition, WHO proposes the integrated health and nutrition interventions, focusing on quality live-saving services through capacity building of health and nutrition staff working in the Stabilization Centres, in areas with high burden of acute malnutrition, in South Sudan.

“WHO is targeting approximately, 3,377 severe acute malnutrition with medical complication children which is 70% of the SAM/MC annual caseload in 19 priority counties, in addition to 3,377 caretakers and 85 nutrition staff working in stabilization centres (SC), in areas with high burden of acute malnutrition, food insecurity and morbidity to improve child survival.” Dr Bekele said “WHO will continue to support the Ministry of Health in South Sudan with trainings and technical guidance needed to build the national capacities that will aid in the fight against severe acute malnutrition with medical complication.” she added.

As of April 2019, the Ministry of Health with support from WHO and partners has trained 200 health workers on Inpatient Management of SAM/MC using the national training guidelines for the management of severe acute malnutrition with medical complications.

For Additional Information or to Request Interviews, Please contact:
Dr Lucy Aggrey Abbass Meseka
Nutrition Officer

mesekal@who.int

Mr Atem John Ajang
Communication Associate
Mobile: +211 (0) 921736375
Email: atema@who.int

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