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Quick malaria response saves lives

Quick malaria response saves lives

On top of the continuing conflict, the vulnerable South Sudanese state of Upper Nile now also has to deal with a serious outbreak of malaria. Fortunately, the medical staff of Cordaid comes well-prepared, and nearly all patients can return home quickly after treatment.

In November, an impressive 730 people with malaria entered the first aid post in Kodok, a small primary health care center supported by Cordaid. This is over three times as much as usual. All patients could be treated. Unfortunately one person did not survive.

Measures

In cooperation with Population Services International and the local Ministry of Health, Cordaid supplies enough anti-malarial medication to treat the complicated and less-complicated cases. Furthermore, the team provides long-lasting mosquito nets, especially to pregnant women and children under five. Regularly, people from surrounding villages are tested for malaria symptoms.

Fenneke Hulshoff-Pol, program manager healthcare South Sudan, is proud of the staff: “Our colleagues in the field work very hard to ensure there is a quick and effective response to the malaria outbreak.”

Primary healthcare despite insecurity

Upper Nile State is one out of ten states in South Sudan that has been devastatingly affected by the internal conflict. After the signing of the peace agreement, the fighting has not stopped. Because of the conflict, whole areas have become closed off from the rest of the world and are devoid of access to food aid and healthcare.

Since 2013 Cordaid supports the health facilities in Fashoda County, with Kodok as its capital. In every location we continue to offer basic health services, even though there is insecurity in the area. 

Major outbreak

Also in other parts of South Sudan, malaria is a major problem. Al Jazeera reports an ‘unprecedented outbreak’ and a short supply of medication.

Cordaid collects precise data on the malaria outbreak and forwards these to Ministry of Health in the capital Juba. This way the malaria outbreak and how it evolves can be closely monitored.

The outbreak of cholera in mid-2015, meanwhile, is well under control.

Source: Cordaid news, January 2016

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