UNMISS peacekeepers tackle old foe malaria in Eastern Equatoria as global spotlight remains on Covid-19
When new health threats, like the Covid-19 pandemic, appear on the scene and steal the limelight, old foes do not necessarily go away. Instead, they go about their usual business quietly, much to the dismay of those affected. Malaria is one such age-old plague still killing people in South Sudan and elsewhere.
The country’s Eastern Equatoria State is fortunate to have Rwandan troops serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan at their disposal. When they spotted an increase of malaria cases in the area, they immediately sprang into action, with mosquito coils, repellents, and vital knowledge on how to prevent the disease from spreading at the ready.
Awareness of prevention measures is king (or queen), but despite a lifetime of coexisting with malaria-inducing mosquitoes, some are still in need of a refresher now and again.
“Cases of malaria are rising rapidly, particularly among women and young children. It is sad, but most people are still not fully aware of how to protect themselves,” says Obusuk Michael, Chief of a residential area in Torit called Morwari.
The Chief added that many of those in the know may not have the necessary means to keep themselves safe: mosquito nets, coils and repellents.
The good news is that more than 600 households have now received such equipment and invaluable knowledge thanks to a campaign to reduce the risks of malaria conducted by peacekeepers from Rwanda.
Their efforts have not gone unnoticed by Chief Obusuk.
“We are indeed very grateful for them having given our community a helping hand. Hopefully, others will also benefit soon,” he said.