Notes from the field: malnutrition and elevated mortality among refugees from South Sudan - Ethiopia, June-July 2014.MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014 Aug 15; 63(32):700-1.MM
As a result of armed civil conflict in South Sudan that started in mid-December of 2013, an estimated 1.1 million persons were internally displaced, and approximately 400,000 refugees fled South Sudan to neighboring countries (primarily to Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, and Kenya). Refugees from South Sudan arriving in Ethiopia are sheltered in three refugee camps located in Gambella region: Leitchuor, Kule, and Tierkidi. The camps were established during January-May 2014 and have estimated refugee populations of 47,000, 51,000, and 50,000, respectively. Reports from health clinics and humanitarian agencies providing assistance to refugees suggested poor nutritional status of arriving refugees and elevated mortality rates. To assess the nutritional status of refugee children aged 6-59 months and mortality rates (crude [all ages] and aged <5 years), the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (an Ethiopian government aid agency), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, World Food Programme, and United Nations Children's Fund, in collaboration with CDC, conducted cross-sectional population-representative surveys in Leitchuor, Kule, and Tierkidi camps during June-July 2014. Anthropometric measurements in children were taken using standard procedures, and nutritional status was classified based on 2006 World Health Organization (WHO) growth standards. Hemoglobin was measured using HemoCue Hb 301. Anemia was diagnosed according to WHO thresholds. Retrospective mortality rates in Leitchuor and Kule were measured using a household census method.