Aweil North is one of the five counties in the former Northern Bar El Ghazal (NBeG) State that borders North Sudan to the North, Aweil West County to the South and East, while Aweil East County borders the Aweil North to the West. There are seven administrative Payams that are considered to be rural areas and home to 267, 210 within the Aweil North. The main sources of household food in the area were reported as cultivation, market purchase of food and General Food Distribution (GFD). There was flooding within the County that saw some families being displaced while their houses submerged in the process . A post floods needs assessment conducted in September 2017 within 3 Payams (Malual West, Malual East and Ariath) suspected to be most hit by the occurrence revealed that Ariath Payam was the least affected by crop damage and displacement. Mass Mid-Upper Circumference (MUAC) screening conducted by the assessors’ revealed Malual East to have the highest proxy GAM rate (Malual East 14%; Malual West 7.0%; Ariath 7.5%) of the 3 Payams.
There are currently 35 operational Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) collective sites, supported by 2 organizations (Premeire Urgence Internationale-PUI and Concern Worldwide-CWW) across the 7 Payams. Concern Worldwide (CWW) supports 24 of these sites in integrated health and nutrition services.
The previous SQUEAC assessment, carried out in May-June 2014, realized a point coverage estimate of 42.8% (33.5-51.7) within the catchment of the then 16 sites under CWW’s jurisdiction. Since then, CWW addressed nearly all the recommendations with some ongoing activities embedded into the routine programming such as on job trainings . This 2017 assessment utilized the 3 stages of the SQUEAC methodology aimed at determining the coverage estimate of the OTP in Aweil North CWW catchment areas while establishing the program barriers and boosters. The assessment was carried out between December 10th and 20th with a team of 14 enumerators, with some assistance from Community Nutrition Volunteers and Home Health Promoters from the Health facility catchment of each sampled village (stage 2 and 3). A coverage estimate of 80.4% (73.2-86.3; 95%CI) was revealed and noted to be higher than the expected Sphere standard for the rural area (at least 50% coverage). This variation in coverage was believed to have been due to implementation of action points set during the previous SQUEAC 2014 (Annex 5), differences in the seasonal timing of the assessment (beginning Planting season in 2014 versus post-harvest season in 2017) in addition to the well triangulated initiatives identified herein as boosters.
Conclusively, there was evident community acceptance of the program within Aweil North County that seemed to enhance the program coverage through uptake of OTP services by the malnourished children, through their caregivers. This seemed to reduce the effect of most of the barriers identified to have potential to negatively affect the program coverage. Some of the recommendations put forward included: initiation of income generating support groups among caregivers of OTP beneficiaries, identification and support of health and nutrition integrated outreach sites attached to the already established health facilities, mobility and protective gear (such as bicycles, gumboots and rain coats) support for the CNVs and HHPs to enhance defaulter tracing and active case finding even in the far villages as well as rainy season.