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Nutrition conditions of pupils of AVSI-supported schools


- To measure the level of malnutrition of P2 pupils enrolled in the AVSI supported schools, by gathering standard anthropometric measures (weight, height and age)
- To obtain reference nutrition information for schools so as to permit to improve the focusing of school meal programs (bypassing the improper reporting of pupils’ attendance, and accounting for the different food security conditions of each community) and to permit the targeting of pilot programs, which necessarily need of an objective criterion to prioritize schools
- To obtain precise estimates of age for pupils enrolled in P2 classes
- To obtain data useful for the precise estimation of dropout rates, i.e. lists with precise names of children attending school term.


On March 2019, in the 62 schools supported by AVSI – 10 in LAKES (Cueibet) and 52 in EES (Torit, Magwi, Ikwoto, Kapoeta South and East) – it was conducted a nutrition screening of every student enrolled in primary two (P2) grade and in class the day of the data gathering. As schools were purposely selected (not randomly selected), the nutrition figures obtained provide reference only for the children enrolled in AVSI-supported schools.

Anthropometric measures (eight, weight and age) were gathered for a total of 2,189 P2 pupils, 1,278 of whom were estimated to be children between 5 and 10 years of age.

The Body Mass Index (BMI) was calculated only for the children between 5 and 10 years of age (as human growth is less accelerated for that age group, nutrition estimates for those children are expected to be more robust); still, enumerators gathered anthropometric data for all 2,189 pupils in order to avoid biases or distortion in the reporting of age (blind test).

Similarly, the choice to base the analysis on the BMI, rater than GAM or SAM, is aimed at reducing even further the potential errors related to the incorrect estimation of pupils’ age, as the BMI ratio varies less depending on age.

BMI cut-off points employed to classify pupils’ nutrition condition were those suggested by WHO for 9 years of age children: for females 12 for thinness and 13 for severe thinness; and for males 12.5 for thinness and 13.5 for severe thinness. (

Key findings: 

Data are consistent with secondary information:
- at the county level: Cueibet is certainly the most food insecure county (schools screened in Kapoeta are mostly prestigious town school)
- at the sub-county level: schools’ average nutrition conditions reflect either the level of food security in the community where the school is located (see Ikwoto) or the status/school fee costs/offering of boarding service of the school, and thus that of pupils’ families (see Kapoeta and Cueibet).

The main finding is that in communities severely food insecure (like Cueibet) there are marked differences across schools; the nutrition screening of pupils could be particularly useful in emergency context to prioritize food security interventions.

Sample size: 
Assessment Report: 
Assessment Questionnaire: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Data: 
Publicly Available
Bruno Nazim Baroni
+211 923 809 070 (Mobile)
Assessment Date(s): 
01 Mar 2019 to 16 Mar 2019
Report completed
Unit(s) of Measurement: 
Population Type(s): 
Leading/Coordinating Organization(s): 
AVSI Foundation
Eastern Equatoria