Bentiu, South Sudan – Amidst widespread conflict and increasing food insecurity, child malnutrition is becoming more acute in South Sudan. Breastfeeding can play a critical role in sustaining and improving child nutrition thereby saving lives, but not enough women understand its benefits or follow proper feeding practices.
To address this lack of information, humanitarian radio station Kondial FM, in in the U.N. Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Bentiu, partnered with UNICEF during World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) to run a public information campaign. The event takes place every year from August 1st to 7th.
The most popular activity in the PoC this week was a quiz show hosted by Internews supported Kondial FM. Listeners called in to provide answers to questions related to breastfeeding, which were then judged by a team of nutritionists. The weeklong competition, which attracted 897 contestants, saw seven winners each walking away with a prize of 1,000 South Sudanese Pounds worth of airtime.
“I couldn’t believe that I was going to win. Now I must follow all programs at Kondial FM and share with my sisters in the PoC. It is very important especially for us mothers that we have to learn how best we can take care of children.” — Nyakuoth Maet, a resident of Block 8 in Sector 2.
Apart from the quiz, Kondial FM also produced and broadcast a variety of content including radio dramas, spot messages, short stories, public service announcements, songs and poems, all aimed at raising awareness among the internally displaced population about how mothers can keep their babies healthy through proper breastfeeding.
UNICEF nutrition specialist for Bentiu, Dr. Chandrakala Jaiswal, was grateful for the collaboration. “Thanks a lot for your excellent support without which WBW celebrations would be incomplete,” said Jaiswal. “I will request more support for other activities like the first 1,000 days for comprehensive development in children.”
As a dedicated humanitarian radio station, Kondial FM continues to partner with various humanitarian actors and broadcast messages and programs related to maternal health and nutrition outcomes throughout the year.
Kondial FM is a part of the Humanitarian Information Service, a network of humanitarian radio stations and projects in South Sudan, supported by Internews through the USAID i-STREAM project.