Factors affecting nutrition status of the South Sudan refugees in Nyumanzi settlement, Adjumani District
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Introduction: In 2014, the GAM among South Sudanese refugee children was 19.6%, the Country Level Submission, South Sudan Regional RRP Revision April, 2017 also stated GAM among South Sudan refugees was 9.4% which is also above the acceptable GAM rate of greater than 5 according to WHO standards. Given the continuing influx of South Sudan refugees in Uganda, the problem of malnutrition cannot be ignored because malnutrition is too expensive for the state. It is on this account that a study was done to find out the factors affecting nutrition status of the refugees such that an intervention is sought and the problem combatted. General objective: To determine the factors affecting nutrition status of the South Sudanese refugees in Nyumanzi settlement, Adjumani district. Methods: A cross- sectional study using both qualitative and quantitative methods was done. Focus group discussions were held and interviews done. Data was analyzed using SPSS, frequencies, means and standard deviations obtained as appropriate. Results were presented in tables, pie charts, bar charts and qualitative data presented as a narrative. Results: Most malnourished children came from households with a number more than five and the household’s only income as the cash provided by WFP. It was also noted that majority of the malnourished came from households which were food insecure. Lack of a sustainable livelihood to meet the demands of the non-food items of their household members resulted into use of the money given for food assistance for purchase of the non-food items. Whatever amount of money left was not sufficient to meet nutritional needs of the members therefore whether or not a child of a mother or care taker in Nyumanzi became malnourished was dependent on the household number and source of income of the household head. Conclusion: Lack of family planning as influenced by culture and tradition puts those with less financial resources at a disadvantage since one will give birth to as many children as possible in view of keeping tradition. This explains the higher prevalence of malnutrition in households with more than 5 people with the household only depending on cash given by WFP. Household heads with more than 5 members but with other sources of income didn’t witness their children getting malnourished. Getting a manageable number of children according to one’s resources should be encouraged among the South Sudanese refugees staying in Nyumanzi camp.