When new health threats, like the Covid-19 pandemic, emerge and steal the show, old enemies don’t necessarily disappear. Instead, they go about their usual business quietly, much to the dismay of those involved. Malaria is one of those centuries-old scourges that still kills people in South Sudan and elsewhere.
The country’s eastern Equatoria state is fortunate to have Rwandan troops serving in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. When they spotted an increase in malaria cases in the region, they immediately took action, with mosquito coils, repellents and vital knowledge on how to stop the disease from spreading immediately.
Awareness of prevention measures is king (or queen), but despite living a life of coexistence with malaria-inducing mosquitoes, some still need a reminder from time to time.
“Malaria cases are increasing rapidly, especially among women and young children. It’s sad, but most people still don’t know how to protect themselves, ”says Obusuk Michael, head of a residential neighborhood in Torit called Morwari.
The chief added that many of those in the know may not have the means to protect themselves: mosquito nets, coils and repellents.
The good news is that more than 600 households have now received such invaluable equipment and knowledge thanks to a malaria risk reduction campaign led by Rwanda’s peacekeepers.
Their efforts have not gone unnoticed by Chief Obusuk.
“We are indeed very grateful to them for helping our community. Hopefully others will benefit from it soon as well, ”he said.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).