IMA World Health/ Christopher Glass
Men and women gather in the shade of a large tree in the Upper Nile State of South Sudan. Bales full of Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLINs) are stacked behind tables staffed by employees of the State Ministry of Health. The nets are provided through a partnership between the State Ministry of Health, IMA, the Mentor Initiative and the PSI/Global Fund to slow the spread of malaria.
Malaria Net Distribution in South Sudan
According to WHO, an estimated 219 million cases of malaria occur annually, making it the world’s most prevalent infectious disease. Malaria results in some 660,000 deaths each year, mostly in children under the age of five. Today marks the kick-off of the second phase of net distribution, and it quickly becomes a celebration in the village as the State Minister of Health, Honorable H.E. Charles York Odhok, arrives hand in hand with IMA staff to oversee the distribution.
Each family receives two nets with directions stating how to properly use them. In the coming weeks, a representative from the partnership will return to the small village to answer questions and ensure the nets are in use.
Since 2011, more than 1 million nets have been distributed in South Sudan through this partnership.
IMA is reducing the malaria burden in Jonglei and Upper Nile states through the distribution of LLINs to vulnerable populations including pregnant women and children under five. As of June 2013, 1,074,090 LLINs were distributed to vulnerable households as well as children under the age of five and pregnant women attending vaccination and antenatal care services at health facilities.