Mass screening for malnutrition aims to reach 600,000 children in South Sudan

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A staff member from the International Medical Corps provides health services to a young displaced child currently taking refuge on UN grounds in Juba. UN Photo/Isaac Billy

A mass screening campaign to identify and treat children suffering from malnutrition has been launched in South Sudan.

The campaign by the UN Children Fund (UNICEF), the Ministry of Health, Sanitation and Environment and the World Food Programme is starting in Juba County.

UNICEF spokesperson, Christophe Boulierac, says that trained government social mobilizers have gone to mosques and churches to explain what the campaign would entail.

"Through the mass screening campaign in Juba County, over 116,000 children aged between six months and five years of age will be screened, and it is estimated that 6,500 will be treated for severe acute malnutrition. This campaign is slated to expand in the coming weeks with more than 600 social mobilizers from the government who will reach 600,000 children in the high burden non-conflict affected states of Warrap and Northern Bahr el Ghazal, in addition to Juba." (29")

Mr Boulierac said it is possible to conduct a door-to-door campaign in the three regions because the level of conflict is low.

South Sudan has been plagued by fighting that erupted in December 2013 between government forces and troops loyal to former Vice-President Riek Machar.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations

Duration: 1’31″

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