Aid organisations in Central Darfur are concerned that in recent weeks most of the children who died in Nertiti hospital came from Jebel Marra area
The Central Darfur State Ministry of Health conducted a Community Nutrition Surveillance (CNS) in the Jebel Marra area, which will shed light on the nutrition situation in the area
Aid organisations are concerned that the phasing out/scaling down of activities by INGOs due to funding will create gaps in the provision of services to people in need in Central Darfur
Before the suspension of activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 2014, ICRC had assisted a total of 1.5 million people in Sudan in 2013
In West and Central Darfur, 14,560 vulnerable displaced families living in camps had their emergency shelter and household supplies replenished.
Malnutrition in the Jebel Marra area
Aid organisations in Central Darfur’s Nertiti town are concerned that in recent weeks most of the children who died in Nertiti hospital reportedly came from the Thur and Golo areas In North Jebel Marra. Access restrictions to most parts of Jebel Marra have prevented aid organisations from assessing needs and verifying the extent of the issue. There are concerns that due to these access restrictions, severe acute malnutrition (SAM) levels in Jebel Marra could be increasing, and more children could be dying before being able to access treatment.
In February 2015, the international NGO Tearfund conducted MUAC (Mid Upper Arm Circumference) screening in their Nertiti clinic among newly displaced children under five and pregnant and nursing mothers reportedly coming from North Jebel Marra. The result showed a Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate of 17.3 per cent – above the emergency threshold of 15 per cent – and a SAM rate of 3.8 per cent (3 per cent is considered very critical). According to the UN Children’s Agency (UNICEF), the GAM and SAM rates for residents of North/Central Jebel Marra (Rokoro locality) are 10.1 and 4.1 per cent respectively. The large number of malnutrition cases in the area have been aggravated by the lack of food supplies (due to challenges faced in getting food aid to these areas), the lack of health services and the strong influence of traditional healers – who are the first to be approached for health concerns, according to aid organisations.
Most of the Jebel Marra area remains inaccessible to humanitarian actors and recent fighting early this year between government forces and armed groups has reportedly displaced tens of thousands of people within the Jebel Marra area, according to community leaders.
Tearfund nutrition programmes in Central Darfur’s Jebel Marra area
Between June and August, about 2,500 people were admitted to Tearfund nutrition centres in Jebel Marra and records show a steady increase in the number of malnutrition admissions over this period. In response, Tearfund is training traditional healers in community-management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) awareness and referral. Tearfund has found that the influence of traditional healers offers an opportunity to better address malnutrition at the community level. Communities reportedly take children to traditional healers first and then to hospital when the condition is beyond traditional healer’s capacities. By the time the children arrive in the hospital their health has often deteriorated to the extent that assistance comes too late.
Central Darfur State conducts a nutrition survey in Jebel Marra
Due to concerns on the nutrition status in the Jebel Marra area, the Central Darfur State Ministry of Health (SMoH) conducted a Community Nutrition Surveillance (CNS) in the Jebel Marra area. The survey started at the beginning of August and the data is currently with the Ministry of Health (MoH) for analysis. Once prepared, this report will shed more light on the nutrition situation in the Jebel Marra area.
Clean drinking water for IDPs in Garsila camp and Nertiti hospital
UNICEF and the Government’s Water and Environmental Sanitation (WES) department have completed the construction of a mini-water yard in Central Darfur’s Nertiti town. This water yard will provide clean drinking water for displaced people in the Garsila internally displaced persons (IDP) camp and Nertiti hospital, the only operating hospital in the three Jebel Marra localities, serving an estimated 50,000 people. The nutrition centre in the hospital treats an average of 100 malnourished children and delivers around 70 children every month. In addition, UNICEF and WES trained 70 people from Nertiti and Thur IDP camp in community-based water facility management to increase community capacity and ownership of water management.
Meanwhile, UNICEF and the SMoH are implementing sanitation and hygiene interventions to increase access to sanitation services. The project, funded by the Japanese government, includes the construction and rehabilitation of separate toilets for men and women at institutions such as schools and health centres in IDP camps and conflict-affected areas.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.