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Thursday,July 18,2019 13:59 PM

South Sudanese refugee children suffer malnutrition

By Vicky Wandawa

Added 28th July 2016 04:55 PM

“From 18-26 July 2016, 4,331 children under-five were screened for nutrition and out of these, 270 are malnourished,”

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“From 18-26 July 2016, 4,331 children under-five were screened for nutrition and out of these, 270 are malnourished,”

Over 35,000 South Sudanese refugees have crossed to Uganda, following the fighting in South Sudan that broke out on 8 July between rival factions loyal to Salva Kiir and Riek Machar. More than 90 per cent of the refugees are women and children.

However, according to a press release from UNICEF by Catherine Ntabadde, the communications specialist, in the past four days, there has been an increase in the Global Acute Malnutrition among the refugees arriving at Elegu Reception Centre from 3.6% to 6.2%.

“From 18-26 July 2016, 4,331 children under-five were screened for nutrition and out of these, 270 are malnourished,” Ntabadde said.

Consequently, 24,191 under-five children were de-wormed to boost their immunity while 4,815 have received Vitamin A supplements to retain nutrient contents of food and facilitate normal growth.

Furthermore, UNICEF is supporting the Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunization and district authorities to ensure that all children who arrive at the various border points are immunized.

“Between 19-26th July 2016, 5,501 children were immunized against Polio and 11,536 against measles,” Ntabadde wrote.

All children that enter through the border points are receiving specialised psychosocial support to help deal with trauma they experience. The counselling is done under the guidance of care givers.

“At the child friendly spaces, experts are using play as a form of therapy. Children are encouraged to play both indoor and outdoor games. The outdoor games include football, netball, slides and sand boxes while indoor activities include storytelling, drawing, chess, snakes and ladders, Ludo and omweso,” reads the press release.

Also, 1,500 new arrivals have been registered at Pagirinya Feeder School in Pagirinya Refugee Settlement which teaches pupils from Primary one-four.

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