Renk County, located in northern South Sudan bordering Sudan’s White Nile, Blue Nile, and Sennar States, has regularly expressed concerning high prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM)1. For the past 5 years, Renk host community has been assessed with Global Acute Malnutrition by weight for height (GAM by WHZ) prevalence in the rainy season (lean season) above the 15% World Health Organization (WHO) emergency threshold, with 2016 and 2017 recording prevalence more than double the emergency threshold.
Medair regularly monitors the nutrition situation in Renk county, having conducted Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transition (SMART) surveys in the rainy season since 2014. The May 2018 SMART survey determined a GAM prevalence in the host community of 26.9% (22.7-31.6 95% CI), and a SAM rate of 6.4% (4.8-8.6 95% CI). Furthermore, the January 2019 Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) analysis assessed Renk county as Phase 3 ‘Crisis’ for Acute Food Insecurity (IPC AFI)5 and Phase 3 ‘Serious’ for Acute Malnutrition (IPC AMN). In September 2018, Renk was classified Phase 2 ‘Stressed’ for IPC AFI and Phase 4 ‘Critical’ for IPC AMN. This high prevalence and classifications could have been related to the disruption of livelihoods due to conflict in 2014/2015, reduction in purchasing power for food due to the economic crisis, and border closures that have contributed to food price spikes in the markets.
Several humanitarian partners provide services in Renk county. Medair is the main nutrition partner in Renk county, providing integrated Outpatient Therapeutic Programs (OTP) and Targeted Supplementary Feeding Programs (TSFP). Medair runs two static, primary health care clinics with integrated health and nutrition services in Abayok and Wunthow camp settlements, and a third static nutrition clinic at a Ministry of Health site located in Jelhak Centre town is in a host community populated area. Medair supports eight mobile nutrition clinics throughout the county. One Stabilization Center (SC) is managed by Medair in Abayok. World Vision is the main health system strengthening partner and food security partner in the county.
Through REACH’s support to the Nutrition Cluster and the Nutrition Information Working Group (NIWG), REACH provided technical support and consultation for SMART to Medair in May 2019 in order to continue monitoring the nutrition situation and to better understand the multi-sectoral needs and humanitarian situation in Renk county. Multi-sectoral indicators were also collected to inform key drivers of acute malnutrition in the population. This brief focuses on survey results for the host community only.
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