Next Stop for the Trumpeters: Malnutrition

orphanage meal
UN Photo/Arpan Munier.

The nutrition situation in South Sudan remains life-threatening.

A recent report reveals critically high food insecurity levels with    Malnutrition is not only a disaster for individual families but also for nations as a whole – countries can lose up to three percent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a result of iron, iodine, and zinc deficiencies.  Research shows that adults who were malnourished as children earn at least 20% less on average than those who were not.

South Sudan is an incredibly fertile country and if the land were properly farmed, it could provide more than enough food for the whole population as well as that of the countries it borders.  However, conflict across different regions, outbreaks of diseases such as diarrhoea and a lack of understanding of how to feed infants properly has led to the deterioration of the nutrition situation.

Juba, where the Trumpeter Community Health Project workers operate, faces a considerable fight against malnutrition.  Having made significant progress in reducing the prevalence of diseases including cholera in their sanitation work, the Trumpeters are determined to expand into other areas affecting their community and one of these is nutrition.

Monica Juan, a Trumpeter working in Lologo, visits homes to identify children suffering from malnutrition whom she supports by registering them for emergency food supply.

monica juan
Monica Juan identifying malnourished children for referrals.

‘I visited this specific family, the mother was not available, only the children were left alone.  I took initiative to visit the home a second time, issued some emergency food and advised the mother to visit the nearby health centre for specialised treatment for her two children.’

Monica Juan works with mothers to make sure that they are aware of their children’s illness and know that they can get help from the health centre.  The most difficult task for Monica and her colleagues is to visit each household and evaluate the children, most of whom are malnourished.  Reaching out to these women and children is very important because they will never visit health centres unless identified.

In August, the Trumpeters visited 1,013 households in and around Juba.  That is on average 44 every working day!  Please pray for them as they look to expand their work and persevere in an extremely challenging situation.

‘If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.’ – Isaiah 58:10