November 26th, 2014, South Sudan
The peak season for malaria this year has been unusually long in South Sudan, says IAS staff in Nyinbuli who are concerned that the incidence rate has been increasing year after year.
– Children under five and pregnant women are the largest groups at risk, says Emmanuel Baraza, nurse at a health center supported by IAS in Nyinbuli, where IAS specifically work to treat and prevent malaria.
– The peak season for malaria is usually in July, August and September. This year however, high malaria cases has been seen into late October. It is worrying that the number of malaria cases seem to be increasing, says Emmanuel.
Women and children worst affected
Nyinbuli in Bahr El Ghazal is one of the most vulnerable areas when it comes to malaria and the disease has continued to be an endemic condition here despite efforts to curb its spread. The most vulnerable groups are children under five and pregnant women.
– For pregnant women we have a special antenatal care program, since the treatment options are limited. We also distribute Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets to children, men and women, says Emmanuel.
Creating awareness about malaria
– We have also created awareness in the local community. One of the things is to inform people that they need to seek health care as soon as symptoms appear. This is a challenge as many confuse malaria with ‘’Gargan’’-a local name for yellow fever which presents itself almost the same as malaria, says Emmanuel.
Some are also seeking medical help from local healers and only go to the health centers when the symptoms have become so severe that it is often too late. This has largely contributed to the increase of the mortality rate of malaria.
– IAS continually provides services here and we remain the only hope to the local community when it comes to health care provision, says Emmanuel.
Text: Rebecka Woods
The crisis in South Sudan is worsening on a daily basis . Therefore IAS Humanitarian Coordinator Daniel Zetterlund will participate in the High-Level Humanitarian Pledging Conference for South Sudan 19-20 of May. The Conference is taking place in Oslo and is hosted by the Norwegian Government and OCHA. The purpose of the Conference is to discuss how to address the humanitarian crisis which during 5 months only has caused 1.3 million people flee their homes. Today over 4 million people, including over 2.5 million children, are extremely vulnerable to food insecurity, as people have been displaced from their sources of survival. IAS has signed a joint NGO statement outlining ‘seven steps’ to address the current crisis.
April 17th 2014, South Sudan
Some months ago the UNMISS base in Bor, South Sudan, was a horrific sight with more than 17,000 people cramped in a very small space. Today it’s all very different, thanks to IAS staff.
-The camp is clean, water provision has improved and sanitation and hygiene is also greatly improved, says IAS humanitarian coordinator, Daniel Zetterlund.
Together with South Sudan country director Repent Taban he visited our ongoing intervention in the UNMISS base, The United Nation Mission, in Bor. IAS staff were the first to respond on 27 December 2013 and has been present continuously to this date.
– There has been no water related deaths for the last 5 weeks and we are very happy about the improvement. It’s clear that IAS has made a great impact here, many of the refugees are now even naming their kids Yakani after our program coordinator Yakani Hillary, continuous Daniel with a smile.
IAS team mobilized community leaders
The first thing IAS did when setting ground in December was to respond in water, sanitation and hygiene. But to do this effectively our team mobilized community leaders within the UNMISS base.
– They set up community structures capable of responding to the massive needs on ground. An ‘elders community council’ was established which serves as the voice for the people within the UNMISS base, says Repent Taban.
Linked to this council were a number of people who could also perform more technical duties. IAS also hired a number of volunteers and key staff who could take charge in the implementation of activities.
“We are now able to help people outside the UNMISS base”
During the time of IAS presence the town has shifted hands four times between Government and opposition forces. Today the Government is in control of the town and security has improved, albeit it remains tense and unpredictable.
– However, IAS believes it is now possible to do larger scale programming outside the UNMISS base, targeting Bor County and nearby surroundings. While still maintaining the good work inside the UNMISS base we also look at responding to populations outside; also ensuring neutrality and equal distribution of aid, says Repent Taban.
Facing challenges and providing hope
Some of the key challenges are the upcoming rains which is due to start around this time. Measures are though put in place to ensure that the people in UNMISS base can still be served throughout this season.
– Drainage systems are being constructed among others. IAS aims to continue to take a lead in water, hygiene and sanitation. The director of OCHA told us that IAS provides more then just aid, we also provide hope and that we will continue to maintain, says Daniel.
Today IAS run programmes and maintains staff/volunteers in six main categories:
Text: Rebecka Woods
Photo: Repent Taban
January 7, 2014 – On 27 December 2013 a four member strong IAS disaster team left for Bor to partake in the ongoing humanitarian intervention. IAS had also been requested to take a lead in the WASH sector response for Jonglei State. This is a brief update on what has been done so far.
Our team has, during the last two weeks been able to assist in the ongoing response alongside UNMISS and other humanitarian personnel. The team has also managed to undertake a rigorous needs assessment of the WASH needs on ground. Based on the findings of that assessment IAS is now implementing a comprehensive WASH response in the state.
A proposal has been approved by UNICEF for funding the initial WASH response. IAS partner Läkarmissionen has also provided additional funding for the response. IAS is scaling up its response capacity and will seek to ensure that current staff on ground are fully supported and that more additional staff and vital supplies can be made available for the ongoing response. Security remains a key challenge but our staff are currently safe and are doing a tremendous work to assist the populations in need around Bor.
More funding will be sought to cover the needs for this response and IAS other ongoing operations in the other states of South Sudan (Northern and Western Bahr el Ghazal, Western, Central and Eastern Equatoria) which have also directly or indirectly been affected by the ongoing crisis.
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