South Sudan disaster    
South Sudan Fabienne Vautier 29.08.98
Disaster in Sudan Alain Mourey 02.09.98
South sudan disaster Saskia van der Kam 02.09.98

Date: Sat, 29 Aug 1998 07:40:47 +0100

From: (Fabienne VAUTIER)

Subject: Ngonut: south sudan


Dear Ngonutters

Some people and organisations are questioning the extend of the severity of the situation in South Sudan. As an organisation working in 7 locations in Bar-El-Gazal, Médecins Sans Frontières confirms that population are facing distress situation. We would like to share with you the following data and thoughts.

Three nutritional and retrospective surveys have been carried out by Epicentre and MSF in 3 different locations of Bar-El-Gazal: Ajiep, Panthou and Mapel. Methodology: first mapping for estimating population size over a radius of 3 - 5 km from the airstrip of each place and then a 2 stage cluster sampling survey. Main primary results are given there:

Ajiep: 21-22 July

Population covered around 17 500 of whom 93% were displaced.

Crude Mortality Rate: (from 3/6 to 20/7 98): 26/10 000 /day ; mortality rate < 5 years: 45.7/10 000/d Prevalence global PEM: (<-2 Z-scores or oedema): 55.7% (50.1 - 61.1%) Prevalence severe PEM: (<-3 Z-scores or oedema): 36.3 % (30.8 - 42.2%)


Panthou: 1-4/08 98

Population covered around : 13 850 of whom 43.9% were displaced.

CMR (from 25/5 to 1-4/08): 9.8 /10 000/d. Displaced: 24.1/10 000/d.

Resident: 1.5/10000/d.

Mortality rate < 5 years: 20.1/10 000/d. Displaced: 43.8 and Residents 2.6.

PEM global (<-2 Zscores or oedema): 53.4% (CI 48.4 - 58.3%) PEM severe (<-3 Z-scores or oedema): 31.6 % ( 26.5 - 37.2%)


Mapel (20-23/8 98)

Population covered: 9000 of whom 39.9% were displaced.

CMR: (from 9/7 to 20/8): 16/10000/d. Displaced: 19 and resident 11.

Mortality rate < 5 years: 22/10000/d. Displaced: 26 and 23.

PEM global (<-2 Zscores or oedema): 34% PEM severe (<-3 Z-scores or oedema): 19%.


These figures are incredibly high and reach or even overpass the figures of the famines in Somalia (92) and Korem (Ethiopia) in 1984. There is a difference between the mortality figures of the displaced population and the resident population.

The problem is not restricted to only 1 or two specific places in Bar-El-Gazal. Routine mortality surveillance is set-up now established in several places and the first figures collected showed a similar mortality rate in Acumcum and Bararud (around 25/10 000/d). Even in Mapel, a place seemed to be less dramatic, the mortality rate is over 15/10000/d.


In the rural part of 3 counties of Bar-El-Gazal (Wau, Gogrial and aweil east counties), MSF is running supplementary and therapeutic feeding programmes in 7 places (Mapel, Bararud, Acumcum, Ajiep, Panthou, Panliet and Thiekthou). The admissions criteria's for SFP are children below 70% (sometimes < 75%) Weight for Height which are the usual criteria for admission in Therapeutic feeding centre (due to capacity limitations).

There are today more than 12 000 beneficiaries enrolled in the SFP. The number of weekly admissions to SFP is now specially increasing in Bararud (330 admissions in a week) and Acumcum (200 admissions). Many adults and adolescents are admitted in the feeding centres which also confirms the seriousness of the situation. In Bararud now, some adults and children are found dead the morning at the door

From: "Alain Mourey" <>

Date: Wed, 2 Sep 1998 12:42:32 +0100

Subject: Ngonut: Disaster in Sudan


The ICRC confirms the disater in Bahr el Ghazal, both in governmental and non governmental areas. Two nutritionists are working there, one in Wau and one in Tonj, setting up mass feeding kitchens and therapeutic feeding centres.

We also are extremely worried about the future since the population started migrating at a time it should have been tending the fields. Further assessment is needed when rains and water allow for surveys in the places of origin. But we already know that there is a good probability that the problems are going to last until next harvest, i.e. if the September-October 1998 harvest fails (what is likely for many), until September-October 1999.

As for the measures to be taken to bring back the population to self-sufficiency, rehabilitation measures will have to be implementedtogether with food aid, provided that the conflict does not start again at the end of the rain season and does not hamper (destroy) any effort in that direction.

Best regards

A. Mourey, nutritionist, ICRC.

Date: Wed, 2 Sep 1998 12:27:19 +0100

From: (Saskia VD KAM)

Subject: Ngonut: South sudan disaster


Dear NGO nutters,

In addition to South Sudan, also North Sudan is suffering:

Wauw, a garrison town from the North in the South has the following indicators:

Wauw (located in Bar el Gazal):

Population: Total 150.000 of which 72,000 IDP's and returnees (returnees are people resident in Wauw but who left in January 98).

People arriving per day 150 -300, This reduction is due to the raining season what makes the place difficult to access.

Crude mortality rate: 10 15 / 10,000/day (graveyard counting)

Nutrition survey among children younger than five years conducted by

UNICEF August 8-14: Preliminary results:

PEM Global( <-2 Zscores or oedema) 43,4 %

PEM severe (<-3 Zscores or oedema) 19.7 %

Splitting up the population gives:

IDP, returnees

PEM Global( <-2 Zscores or oedema) 52.4 %

PEM severe (<-3 Zscores or oedema) 27.8%

Wauw residents

PEM Global( <-2 Zscores or oedema) 25.6%

PEM severe (<-3 Zscores or oedema) 9.4%

What actually worries me is that 4.1 % of the children under five years are unaccompanied.

Yes we treat children, and we do hat we can for the adults. Logistical constraints, capacity and travel/security problems puts us for difficult decisions. (who to target, very strict admission criteria)

Saskia van der Kam

Médecins Sans Frontières Holland