300% increase in severe malnutrition cases in IRC clinic in Hantoub.
163% increase in severe malnutrition cases in IRC clinic in Banet.
IRC is warning of long term consequences of malnutrition amongst children under 5 in violence if war in Sudan continues.
Khartoum, Sudan, September 6, 2023 — The International Rescue Committee is calling for urgent action following a sharp surge in cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) amongst displaced people in Sudan. The sharp increase in SAM cases has been observed in the Hantoub and Banet areas, with a staggering 300% increase in Hantoub and a 163% increase in Banet.
Mohamed Mahdi, IRC Deputy Director of Programs in Sudan said,
“During the ongoing fighting, more than 4 million people have fled their homes and suffering the consequences of the interruption of access to essential services, such as nutritious food, limited access to basic health services, limited access to safe and adequate water, sanitation services, and other factors that has led to a further deterioration of nutrition among children under five. The surge in recorded malnutrition rates could also be attributed to IRC’s scaling up of screening services, with recorded increase still proportionately higher than the increase in screening.
This worrisome trend is also a result of the prevailing poor living conditions and the lack of adequate access to food among the vulnerable displaced populations. Sudan has a population of 49 million. Around 47% or 23 million of the population are children. Before the crisis, three million children under 5 years of age in Sudan were acutely malnourished. Children with acute malnutrition have weakened immune systems and are at higher risk of dying from common childhood diseases. Those that survive could face lifelong growth and development challenges. They risk facing a future marked by illness, poor school results, and poverty with ripple effects across generations.
However, amidst this crisis, a proven and highly effective treatment for malnutrition exists. Shockingly, 80% of acutely malnourished children globally are unable to access this treatment. The IRC urgently calls upon governments, donors, and the international community to unite in combating malnutrition. Adopting a simplified treatment protocol and employing community health workers to provide direct treatment to affected communities can offer a brighter future for these children. The international community must ensure that no child falls victim to acute malnutrition and its devastating consequences."
The IRC, along with its partners, is providing nutrition supplements and essential medical services to ensure that the affected individuals receive appropriate care. Additionally, health education and awareness campaigns are being carried out to sensitize communities about the importance of proper nutrition, especially for vulnerable populations such as children and pregnant women.
In Sudan, the IRC supports people impacted by conflict and crisis, including women, children, the elderly, persons with disabilities, refugees, mixed populations, and host communities. We provide an integrated health, nutrition and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) program and also provide child protection services and comprehensive women and girls’ protection and empowerment services including to gender-based violence (GBV) survivors.