South Sudan treating malnourished children | Action Against Hunger

Born Into Crisis: Meet Nyibel and Garang

Since conflict erupted in South Sudan, families have been plunged into chaos

By Action Against Hunger

Oct 15 2015

Since conflict erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, families have been plunged into chaos. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and millions have fled from their homes. One mother and child who fled are Amiir and Nyibel.

At just 18 months old, Nyibel has already known more turmoil than many of us will ever experience. A year ago, her father was killed in fighting in Bentiu. Her mother, Amiir, grabbed Nyibel and her four other children and fled for their lives. They settled among thousands of other families in the dusty confines of a camp for the displaced in Malualkon, in South Sudan’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal region.

Nyibel was admitted to our stabilization center in Malualkon suffering from life-threatening malnutrition. Our team measured her mid-upper arm circumference and took her weight-for-height measurements to screen her for severe acute malnutrition, which can be fatal if left untreated. We quickly admitted her for around-the-clock treatment and care. When she is stronger and healthier, Nyibel will be referred to our outpatient program where she will receive weekly monitoring and further nutritional support.

While Nyibel has been receiving treatment, her mother has learned more about good hygiene practice and breastfeeding – both of which can help prevent a relapse.


At three years old, Garang should have been bursting with energy and eager to play. His mother, Abuk Kuot, walked for hours to bring him to our stabilization center in Aweil. Garang’s tiny body was drained. Dangerously malnourished, he was running a temperature, had diarrhea, and he was refusing to eat. Tests revealed Garang was not only acutely malnourished but also suffering from malaria.

Less than two days later, his mother was relieved to see that Garang appears to be improving after the start of malaria treatment. Our team is confident he will soon be feeling much better. Last year, we treated almost 700 children like Garang and Nyibel in stabilization centers in South Sudan. 

Our work in South Sudan

The people of South Sudan are struggling to survive in what is one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises. Right now, there are 2.5 million people facing emergency levels of food insecurity.  Help our team of nutrition, food security, and water and sanitation experts as they work with the people of South Sudan at this critical time

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Photocredit: © 2015 Andrew Parsons / i-Images for Action Against Hunger UK