UNICEF South Sudan Humanitarian Situation Report #114, 31 October 2017
The nutrition situation in South Sudan remains critical. At a time when the harvest season should be at its peak, estimates are that about six million people are severely food insecure. The zones of severe food insecurity continue to increase throughout the country with potential for marked deterioration in 2018.
In October, UNICEF in conjunction with national and state government counterparts and implementing partners, marked Global Handwashing Day with country-wide celebrations. Over 55,525 people, including school children, were reached with key hygiene promotion messages on hand washing with soap/ash at critical times through demonstrations in schools, markets and water points.
Malaria continues to be endemic, with the majority of patients seen during this reporting period receiving treatment for malaria. UNICEF conducted an Indoor Residual Spraying Campaign in Malakal Protection of Civilians (PoC) site, covering 99 per cent of the targeted 6,361 households. This has significantly reduced the number of malaria cases in this PoC site.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
The food security and nutrition situation continues to deteriorate throughout the country. At this time when the harvest season should be at its peak, it is estimated that six million people (56 per cent of the total population1) are severely food insecure. Acute malnutrition has worsened as compared to the same period last year and remains high in many parts of South Sudan. Results from malnutrition surveys and screenings2 conducted between April and September 2017 indicate extremely critical levels of acute malnutrition in Renk (Upper Nile), Twic (Warrap) as well as Greater Baggari in Wau (Western Bahr el Ghazal), while the majority of the 31 counties surveyed in Lakes, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Unity, parts of Jonglei, Western Bahr el Ghazal and Eastern Equatoria show critical levels of acute malnutrition. Estimates for all of South Sudan indicate that the overall population facing acute malnutrition is likely to remain high, with over 1.1 million children under the age of five estimated to be acutely malnourished in 2018, including more than 269,000 children likely to be severely malnourished. The main contributing factors to these malnutrition rates are the unprecedented high levels of food insecurity, widespread conflict and insecurity, population displacement, poor access to services, high morbidity, extremely poor diet (in terms of both quality and quantity), low coverage of sanitation facilities and poor hygiene practices.
A more positive development is that cholera transmission is on the decline countrywide, with cases having dropped from 145 recorded cases in the first week of August (week 31) to 21 recorded cases in the third week of October (week 42). Since the onset of the outbreak on 18 June 2016, a total of 21,132 cases, with 418 deaths (case fatality rate (CFR) of 1.98 per cent), have been reported from 26 counties, out of which 16,891 cases, including 349 deaths (CFR 1.8 per cent) have been reported in 2017. In the reporting period, cases were reported from Juba (Central Equatoria), Budi (Eastern Equatoria) and Fangak (Jonglei). When disaggregated by age, 22 per cent of the cholera cases recorded during the overall outbreak are children under five, while 25 per cent are in the age group 5 – 14 years.