South Sudan: RMF UNICEF Malnutrition Treatment and Prevention Program Jonglei State
Continued Support Despite Armed Confrontation: Q3 2016
September 30, 2016
Dr. Taban Martin Vitale
Summary of Activities
The overall goal of this project is to reduce the global acute malnutrition (GAM) rate to an acceptable level of less than 15% in each of the payams assigned to RMF. This will be in line with standards set by the South Sudan National Nutrition Program.
RMF is filling some of the gaps of medical services in the area, and recently signed a partnership agreement with UNICEF’s health section for the implementation of Maternal Child Health Care (MCH) services in Gorwai and Pibor PHCCs.
Implemented activities in line with RMF-sponsored activities and project objectives include:
- Conducted refresher training on CMAM/IYCF in Juba for all RMF nutrition teams (nutrition officers and nurses – refer to detailed training report).
- Printed and supplied OTP/SC/TSFP monitoring and evaluation (M&E) tools.
- Procured and provided scholastic materials for the OTP/SC/TSFP sites.
- Supported the routine running of OTP/SC/TSFP activities.
- Coordinated and delivered an adequate amount of nutrition supplies to all RMF sites in Ayod and Boma through the logistic cluster and regular UNHAS flights.
- Continued to procure and provide basic items (soaps, salt, and sitting mats) for the infant and young child feeding (IYCF) mother-to-mother support groups.
- Continued to support satellite phone services through payment of monthly subscription fees, as this is the only means of communication in those hard to reach areas where RMF works and where routine phone services are not available.
- Procured and delivered an adequate amount of essential foodstuffs for our teams working at OTP/SC/ TSFP sites where basic commodities are not available.
- Supported and mentored nutrition staff during M&E field visits.
- Procured and delivered two new laptop computers for RMF’s Juba-based program staff.
- Continued facilitation of our team to participate in all coordination activities at national and state levels.
- Installed additional office space at RMF’s main Juba coordination office for the additional nutrition team.
- Continued support of high-speed WIFI internet service in the Juba office to enable easy coordination.
Improving Quality of Life
The communities in Boma and Ayod in particular are delighted with our services. During the reporting quarter, a total of 995 SAM and 2,002 MAM children, as well as 1,284 PLW were enrolled in our feeding program. 3,163 children received albendazole and 3,082 children received vitamin A supplementation, hence improving quality of life for children and pregnant and lactating women.
RMF Nutrition Staff Members
15 RMF nutrition staff members (nutrition officers and nutrition nurses) received refresher training on CMAM/IYCF and are providing quality nutrition services to the community. 34 and 18 community nutrition volunteers in Ayod and Boma counties, respectively, received refresher training on basic concepts of CMAM/IYCF.
The armed confrontation that erupted in Juba in early July 2016 interrupted normal operation at the main RMF coordination office in Juba, which indirectly affected program performance at all field sites in Ayod and Boma. All of our areas of operation in Ayod are controlled by the opposition forces, and the security situation further deteriorated following the July incidence. The population continues to be fluid, as people keep moving from one location to another in search of safety.
Fully Recovered Patients
Positive Results Equals Quality Care
87% of the admitted SAM cases fully recovered, which is a good indicator, as the proportion of recovered children was above the 75% recommended by South Sudan’s Ministry of Health (MOH) and international protocols.
Providing Effective Communication
The RMF Juba-based team, visiting nutrition staff from the various field locations, and JTH staff are benefiting from the high-speed WIFI internet service installed in RMF’s office. Monthly payment of Thuraya (satellite phone) subscription fees enabled effective communication and coordination without interruptions.
Safe Drinking Water
Strengthening RMF Team Members and Patients
Our nutrition field based teams continued to have clean, safe drinking water through usage of the provided water purifying equipment.
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Direct project beneficiaries for the year 2016 include approximately 4,548 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM), 16,267 children suffering from moderate acute malnutrition (MAM), and 7,569 pregnant and lactating women (PLW) in the two counties assigned to RMF.
Direct project beneficiaries are approximately 140,517 people living in the payams assigned to RMF, and indirect beneficiaries include the whole population of the two counties, estimated to be 340,661 projected from the 2008 South Sudan Population and Housing Census. The nutrition service centers also receive beneficiaries from neighboring counties and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from various areas of Jonglei and neighboring states.