Zalingie pregnant women and 5 years children protected against Malaria through UNICEF maternal and child health support
Zalingie is the capital of the newly established Central Darfur state, more than 1,000km from Khartoum.
“I am going to use the nets to protect me, my child Omer, and my baby after delivery.”
After 2003 an influx of IDPs settled in in five camps in the areas surrounding Zalingie, changing much of the demographic profile of the area as well as the burden on essential services.
Malaria remains an important public health problem in the state. UNICEF and its partners have engaged in a process of scaling up malaria control interventions, of which UNICEF contributed by provision and distribution of 467,000 long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLITNs).
Aziza Omer Ibrahim is one of 2,821 pregnant women and 48,090 people in Zalingie city who received the mosquito nets, as part of the efforts to decrease malaria burden in the area.
Aziza said “I am going to use the nets to protect me, my child Omer, and my baby after delivery.”
UNICEF assists in the transportation and distribution cost for the mosquito nets – as well as malaria diagnosis, management, and prevention, with UNICEF providing financial and technical support.
The partnership with the Ministry of Health has delivered good malaria prevention services: it is expected to increase the percentage of households with at least one net from 25.6 % in 2010 to 100%.
Aziza said, “I asked the distribution teams why we received two nets while there were four persons in the house, and I was told the mosquito distribution strategy in Sudan is one net per two persons.”
UNICEF and partners require additional efforts to promote the use of the nets and to increase the number people sleeping under them from 15.8% in 2009 to at least 80%.
With the continued support of funding and implementing partners and the government, UNICEF will continue to improve maternal and child health services in Zalingi and the other seven localities of Central Darfur. It is hoped that pregnant women such as Aziza will have the access to malaria prevention services saving women and children lives.