How Severe, How Many and When: According to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification Acute Malnutrition (IPC AMN) analysis, of the nine districts analysed in Sindh, Pakistan, acute malnutrition is at a Critical level (IPC Phase 4) in eight districts and at a Serious level (IPC Phase 3) in one district. The situation is particularly severe in six of the eight districts classified in the Critical phase, whereby one in five children is affected by acute malnutrition. Conversely, the other two districts classified in the Critical phase register levels of acute malnutrition not too far above those classified in the Serious phase (IPC Phase 3).
Where: The eight districts classified as being in a Critical situation (IPC Phase 4) are Matiari, Tando Allah Yar, Tando Muhammad Khan, Thatta, Sujawal, Umerkot, Qambar Shahdadkot and Shikarpur. Only Larkana district is in a Serious situation (IPC Phase 3), though the Global Acute Malnutrition level is 12.3%, which is close to IPC Phase 4 (Critical).
Why: The major factors contributing to acute malnutrition include inadequate quality and quantity of food, poor hygiene practices and sanitation coverage, high rates of diarrhoea, acute respiratory infection and fever, and low prevalence of health seeking behaviour. Additionally, low exclusive breastfeeding levels, high prevalence of early childbearing, high prevalence of low birth weight, and high prevalence of malnutrition among pregnant and lactating women are also of concern in several districts. Although not the direct focus of this analysis, anaemia and vitamin A deficiency among children of 6-59 months is at an alarming level.