Health

Health

 

Sudan Accelerated Child Survival Initiative

Mother and child sitting in front of insecticide-treated bednet
© UNICEF Sudan/Georgina Cranston
Aisha Mohamed Adam and her 18 month old son Ahmed Adam Mohammed sit in front of their UNICEF-provided mosquito net at their home in West Darfur. The net was provided during a visit by the mother and son to a local feeding centre

More than 15 per cent of Sudan’s population is less than five years old, based on estimates from the 2006 Sudan Household Health Survey. These youngest citizens face daily threats from malaria, diarrhoeal disease, acute respiratory infections, vaccine-preventable diseases and malnutrition. Health infrastructure is limited, and decades of conflict have reduced national capacity considerably, while per capita funding for the health sector ranges from US$10 to US$22. Less than half Sudan’s population has access to appropriate health care, while 40 per cent of Sudanese have no sustainable access to safe water.

Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Sudan will be a considerable challenge - but with a rapid investment in health care provision, education, water and sanitation, and a new approach to accelerating child survival initiatives it can still be possible to reduce child and maternal mortality, reduce malnutrition, and combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.

The Sudan Accelerated Child Survival Initiative (ACSI) attempts to scale up existing programmes, capitalizing upon basic structures already in place - such as the Expanded Programme on Immunization - while identifying capacity and resource shortfalls and prioritizing specific activities at community, sub-national and national level. From this starting point, more comprehensive, routine health services will be delivered through a multi-sector approach incorporating health, nutrition, water, sanitation, hygiene, HIV/AIDS and education activities that builds long-term capacity and sustainability of health care at the heart of the community.

Vaccinator prepares diptheria vaccine
© UNICEF Sudan/2007/Georgina Cranston
Vaccinator Zeinab Yahya Arbab prepares a diphtheria vaccination at a UNICEF-supported primary health centre in West Darfur.

A three phase approach

‘Jump-start’ activities 2007-2008
A ‘jump-start’ campaign over two years will deliver a number of specific activities reaching the majority of children in Sudan, using existing Expanded Programme on Immunization structures and equipment. At the same time, in selected areas, local capacity will be enhanced to provide routine health care at community level. Core activities will include:

  • Immunization against polio and measles for children, and tetanus for mothers
  • Provision of vitamin A supplements, deworming tablets and promotion of iodised salt
  • Promotion of breastfeeding, screening and referral for treatment of malnutrition
  • Promotion of handwashing
  • Distribution of insecticide treated bed nets against malaria

‘Pulse’ activities 2007-2008
Selected states in Sudan will benefit from ‘pulse’ activities. Based upon mapping and identification of areas with low health coverage, mobile teams of community health and nutrition workers, supported by capacity building and skills development, will roll out services from their bases in existing health centres to deliver regular, systematic child and maternal health services in the surrounding areas, complemented by twice-yearly Child Health Days. Community development committees will be supported to ensure local management and ownership of the initiative. ‘Pulse’ activities will include:

  • Mobile and accelerated immunization
  • Provision of vitamin A supplements,deworming tablets and promotion of iodised salt
  • Promotion of breastfeeding, health education, screening, referral and treatment of malnutrition and growth monitoring and promotion
  • Promotion of handwashing and provision of Oral Rehydration Therapy
  • Re-treating of bed nets and treatment of malaria cases

Longer term routine activities 2008-2015
From 2008, the Sudan ACSI will also focus on systems improvements in community health care delivery, building human capacity and the development of routine programmes that tackle child and maternal mortality. This includes introduction of new strategies such as new-born care and individual clinic care, as well as expansion of comprehensive emergency obstetric care and neo-natal health care, and the establishment of annual Child Health Weeks nationwide.

 

 

 

 

Download information on the Sudan Accelerated Child Survival Initiative

This short leaflet explains the development of the ACSI approach in Sudan, and outlines expected results.


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