UNICEF to distribute 4.6 million mosquito nets to protect against malaria in Sudan
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KHARTOUM 21 December 2020 – An estimated 87% of people in Sudan already suffering from a dire economic situation and conflict, are at risk of contracting malaria. To prevent illnesses and deaths from malaria, especially among malnourished young children and internally displaced populations- and during this difficult time with COVID-19, UNICEF in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health and the Global Fund is distributing 4.6 million long lasting insecticidal treated bed nets (LLINs) across 12 states in Sudan at a total cost of USD 9.3 million.
UNICEF is responding to the increase in malaria cases by supporting the Federal Ministry of Health and partners with prevention measures to protect children and their families from contracting malaria. One of the most effective means of preventing malaria is sleeping under a mosquito net, specifically a long-lasting insecticidal treated net (LLIN). As a core prevention tool, LLINs have played an important role in the remarkable success in reducing malaria burden across the globe.
Mosquitoes which carry the malaria causing parasite typically bite at night - if we can protect people in affected areas when they sleep at night, we have a higher chance of preventing them from contracting malaria. This mobilization and distribution of treated bed nets can save lives.
The World Health Organization recommends the distribution of one LLIN for every two individuals at risk of malaria through mass campaigns conducted every three years. The current distribution campaign aims at replacing bed nets that were distributed in 2017 covering 9.2 million people.
“This time, the distribution is a huge undertaking with serious logistical challenges, yet we are making it happen safely,” said acting UNICEF Representative in Sudan Mohamed Ahmed Hassan. “To mitigate the spread of COVID-19 we, together with our partners have decided that we will distribute the nets door-to-door instead of at health facilities,” he explains.
UNICEF and partners are also conducting campaigns on the importance of sleeping under LLIN to educate families about how malaria is transmitted, how to prevent getting malaria and other vector-borne diseases and where to seek care if someone contracts the disease.
“Communities play the most important role in the prevention and treatment of malaria,” said acting Federal Minister of Health Osama Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “This is the most important aspect in the national strategy to combat malaria in Sudan.”
This campaign is part of a UNICEF- Federal Ministry of Health- Global Fund joint project in which the Global Fund is providing the funding. Through this partnership, UNICEF is also supporting the Ministry by procurement and delivery of anti-malaria medicines which is critical to save lives. UNICEF is the largest provider of LLINs for children and families.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child and is committed to the children of Sudan. We never give up on finding solutions that provide immediate help to save the lives of children or provide durable support so that those children grow up with dignity, health and an education.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.