FIGHTING MALNUTRITION ON SOUTH SUDAN’S FRONT LINES
Mary Akuol was born close to the front lines of conflict in South Sudan. When she was 11 months old, a health worker at Kurwai Health Center noticed Mary’s troubling symptoms and urged her mother to take her to seek treatment. A mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) measurement less than 11 centimeters indicates severe acute malnutrition; Mary’s MUAC was 10.5 cm. She was in serious danger.
The Kurwai Health Center, managed by IMA World Health and a local organization called Nile Hope, is part of a targeted nutrition outreach effort funded by the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. Mary entered an intensive therapeutic treatment program, during which she received ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) and was monitored by the nutrition center staff. After six weeks, she had improved dramatically — achieving a 15% weight gain — and was discharged a healthy one-year-old.