Fighting Malnutrition in North Kordofan, Sudan

Tuesday 10 July 2018


Mariyah is a two-year-old girl living with her parents in Jabrat El Sheikh in North Kordofan State in Sudan. She was born premature and frequently fell ill since she was born. Her family has limited income and her father works as a laborer to make ends meet. Her parents often struggle to meet their basic needs such as food and this prompted her father to move to another area in search of better employment opportunities. 

Mariyah enrolled in outpatient therapeutic program (OTP) in November 2017. She looked thin and frail and experienced frequent diarrhea before her mother brought her to the nutrition site. Her mother became worried. “My daughter was weak and frail; I was so worried about her health.  With support from Save the Children, my daughter's health improved and I am glad to see her in good health” Hassania, Mariyah’s mother explains. She took her to a Save the Children supported nutrition center in search of assistance.  

Upon assessment, Mariyah was found to be Severely malnourished, as her Mid – upper arm circumference (MUAC) was only 114 mm. She was immediately enrolled into a nutrition programme after she passed the   appetite test and found free from any serious medical complications. Mariyah was given Ready – to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) over a period of 6 weeks of treatment to help her get the essential nutrients she needed to recover. She also received Amoxicillin in the first week of admission. Her weight was less than 10 kg in second week of admission so she was not given Amebendazole. Mariyah showed gradual   improvement week after week and increased from 7.3 Kgs upon her admission to 8.7 Kgs in sixth week. Her Mid –upper arm circumference also increased to 127 mm. She was completely cured and discharged from the nutrition center in very good health.  Due to lack of Targeted Supplementary Feeding program in Jabrat Elsheikh locality, SC has adopted the extended criteria for discharge to avoid deterioration of nutrition status of the malnourished children. During the treatment Mariyah’s mother underwent weekly series of infant and young child feeding and personal hygiene sessions at the nutrition site. She also received massages from the nutrition educator about the importance of continuation of treatment.  



Rasha, a nutrition officer at the nutrition centre shares with us the situation in the area, “Mariyah is one of many cases of malnutrition in Jabrat Elsheikh that has been completely cured.  Poverty is the main reason behind most cases of malnutrition. It is important to address this issue to ensure that children remain in good health after we discharge them from our nutrition centers” 

The population of Jabrat Elsheikh locality, particularly children and women have been impacted by the adverse climatic conditions and poverty. Until recently, access to quality nutrition, health or WASH services was limited. Save the Children with funding from ECHO implemented lifesaving interventions that supported more than 50,000 people and helped them survive.

In April 2017 with a grant of 900,000 Euroes from ECHO. Save the Children Sudan began implementing and delivering life saving assistance to vulnerable people and households affected by conflict and adverse climate conditions in Darfur and Kordofan Region. 

The project introduced integrated packages of life-saving interventions on Health, Nutrition and Wash. It focused on improvement of health systems, clinical support, provisison of food assistance, delivery of nutritional support for severe acute malnutrition (SAM). In addition it focused on promotion of improved infant and young child feeding in emergencies (IYCF-E), as well as increased knowledge of and use of safe water, sanitation and hygiene promotion practices at health and nutrition facilities.