Nine-month-old Baby Chiengjiuk lives in Bentiu camp for displaced people in South Sudan.
His family are some of the 117,000 people who have been forced to shelter here due to conflict. But life here is hard, crowded and unsanitary. Food is scarce and sicknesses spread quickly and severely through the camp.
“Before we came here, we ran to the bush where we stayed for three months. We were eating water lilies and seeds from the trees. I came here for protection with my mother and siblings.” Chiengjiuk’s mother Nyameat explains.
“My son was born in the shelter. His father died of sickness before the crisis.”
Fearing that her son is sick, Nyameat brings Chiengjiuk to a UNICEF outpatient therapeutic programme in the camp.
“My baby is malnourished. He was admitted last week and I’m receiving instructions on how to make him better.”
Without intervention in the first 1000 days of a child's life, the negative impacts of malnutrition can be irreversible. But thankfully, Chiengjiuk’s health is improving and UNICEF staff at the feeding centre are happy with his progress.
“He likes the plumpynut," says a clearly relieved Nyameat. “He has been taking it for one week and today he was weighed."
UNICEF is the world’s largest supplier of plumpynut – a therapeutic food which is key in treating malnutrition. Each sachet is just 50 cents, and 3 sachets a day for 6-8 weeks is enough to nourish a malnourished child back to health.
That means just $63 could be enough to cover a child like Chiengjiuk’s full recovery.
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