Rwandan peacekeepers serving under the United Nations in South Sudan have launched a campaign against malnutrition.
The campaign started in Odikolong and Torit villages where they introduced mothers to basic skills in preparation of balanced diet.
“Food is sometimes lacking, and when it is available many women don’t know how to provide their children with a balanced diet using the little money they have,” Amaring Ikalwa Rose, a chief in the area said.
“Most mothers feed their children once a day, a practice that contributes to their poor growth,” she added.
According to Torit hospital, at least every day, between one and three malnourished children are brought to the facility daily.
To mitigate the problems, the hospital has created mother-to-mother support groups in the communities.
“We receive many reports about affected children from these groups, and we can tell that there is a lack of awareness about what constitutes a suitable diet for the young ones,” Antansia Sabasio, director of nutrition at the health centre noted.
This week, the peacekeepers invited 50 mothers to a demonstration of how healthy, inexpensive meals can be prepared.
After a few theories, they introduced them to practical sessions.
“Whenever children of a country are raised well, the nation will have healthier citizens who are better placed to serve and help South Sudan develop,” Major Marcelin Gatete, commander of the Rwandan contingent based in Torit said.
Last year, the United Nations Children’s Fund reported that 1.4 million South Sudanese children were threatened with acute malnutrition.