A drive to save all from malaria in Southern Sudan

Souther Sudanese mothers putting their children to sleep under malaria-preventing bednets.

The rainy season in Southern Sudan creates formidable logistical challenges to delivering health services to the many remote regions of the country. The rainy season also causes a peak in malaria, as mosquitoes breed in the wet areas. To help protect families in Southern Sudan, the USAID-funded Sudan Health Transformation Project (SHTP), launched a campaign to distribute 100,000 malaria-preventing insecticide-treated bednets in less than one month's time to communities in Mvolo, Wulu, and Tambura, Mundri East and West counties. The campaign was not only the first ever mass distribution of bednets in these counties, but was also the first mass bednet distribution campaign within the Western Equatoria region. Distribution activities were timed such that they were conducted at the peak of the Southern Sudan rainy season, in an effort to reach families so as to try to prevent as much disease in the peak malaria season.

"I lost a child due to malaria because I did not have bednets, but now all my three remaining children will be protected." - A mother in Mvolo County, Southern Sudan
The campaign was not without its difficulties, however. Roads were destroyed roads and infrastructure damaged, making net distribution to remote, hard-to-reach areas more difficult. None of the targeted counties had accurate population data, which made estimating the number of bednets needed difficult. Despite these challenges, the SHTP team, led by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc., along with Southern Sudanese County Health Departments, local administration officials, and other partners, succeeded in distributing all 100,000 much-needed nets.