How Severe, How Many and When: According to the latest IPC Acute Malnutrition (AMN) analysis, during the lean season of 2021, February – July 2021, of the nine districts in Karamoja region, one district has Critical levels of acute malnutrition (IPC AMN Phase 4), four districts have Serious levels of acute malnutrition (IPC AMN Phase 3) and another four districts have Alert levels of acute malnutrition (IPC AMN Phase 2). About 56,600 children in the nine districts included in the analysis are affected by acute malnutrition and are in need of treatment. Approximately 46,300 children are moderately malnourished while over 10,200 children are severely malnourished. Around 10,200 pregnant or lactating women are also acute malnourished.
Where: Kaabong district has Critical levels of acute malnutrition (IPC AMN Phase 4) with a Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) prevalence of 18.6%. Amudat, Kotido,
Moroto and Napak districts have Serious levels of acute malnutrition (IPC AMN Phase 3), with GAM prevalences of 10.9%, 10.4%, 14.2% and 9.4% respectively.
The districts with Alert levels of acute malnutrition (IPC AMN Phase 2) are Abim (GAMN 6.3%), Karenga (GAM 9.6%), Nabilatuk (GAM 8%) and Nakapiripirit (GAM 8.2%). Of these, Karenga has high levels of acute malnutrition, with a slight chance of slipping into IPC AMN Phase 3 during the projection period of August 2021 to January 2022.
Why: The major factors contributing to acute malnutrition are: very poor dietary quantity and quality, with less than 1 in 10 children consuming a minimum acceptable diet; high food insecurity; poor sanitation / latrine coverage, with open / bush defecation practised by 60% of the population; low per capita water use, with only about 30% of the households meeting the recommended water use of 20 litres per person per day (leading to hygiene challenges); and high incidence of diarrhea (15%) and malaria (18%). Additionally, high mother workload and alcoholism leading to reduced childcare and inadequate breastfeeding exposes the children to recurrent infections leading to increased malnutrition incidences.
Although not a direct contributing factor to acute malnutrition, anaemia is a major public health problem in all districts.
Key projection assumptions:
The green and subsequent dry harvest will improve food availability
COVID-19 restrictions that directly affect food availability and access will be fully relaxed
The prevalence of diarrhoea and malaria is expected to increase
Breastfeeding and other IYCF practices are expected to remain the same or even worsen in some areas