Distribution of over Five Million Insecticide Treated Bed Nets
Khartoum – The National Malaria Control Programme, Federal Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and UNICEF launched the second phase of the bed net distribution plan in 2014. During this campaign that will be conducted during the period of September 13-27, 2014 about 1.16 million bed nets will be distributed bringing the total number of distributed bed nets to more than five million in various states of Sudan.
The campaign was launched by H.E. Federal Minister of Health, Bahar Idriss Abu-Garda, in Khashm Elgirba locality in Kassala state on 21 September, 2014. Addressing the occasion, Abu-Garda said: “I take this opportunity to reiterate the Ministry of Health’s support to the malaria programme and emphasize the importance of partnership between the government, civil society, and UN agencies to provide better health care to the people of Sudan.”
This second phase of the campaign was launched in 32 localities in Kassala, Khartoum, Northern Kordofan, Sinnar, Northern State, River Nile, White Nile, East Darfur and Gezira states with wide participation of government line ministries at the federal, state, and locality level, civil society, and UN agencies.
The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative in Sudan, Mr. Ali Al-Za’tari said: “In 2014, UNDP has procured and distributed over five million bed nets that were distributed in high malaria prevalent states benefiting over 10 million people in Sudan. As part of its role as the Principal Recipient for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, UNDP is working closely with various partners to support the implementation of the National Malaria Control Programme in Sudan.”
Today’s distribution marked the largest ever distribution of bed nets in Sudan and prepared the country for the pre-elimination phase of malaria in the states of Khartoum, River Nile, Northern state and Red Sea. The programme targets specifically pregnant women, under-five children, and hard to reach population.
Since these bed nets are treated with insecticides, unlike ordinary bed nets that are available in the local market, they give better protection from mosquito bites and other insects like sand flies, and provide prevention from malaria, leishmaniasis and filaria.
“By the end of the second phase campaign, the five states of Kassala, Gedarif, White Nile, Blue Nile and West Darfur will have 100 percent coverage of bed nets as per global monitoring standards. The overall coverage for the target area in the entire country will be 78 percent,” said Dr. Abdalla Ahmed, Malaria Project Manager, Global Fund, UNDP.
With the emphasis on achieving and maintaining country wide coverage, Sudan is undertaking ambitious bed nets distribution process that requires considerable efforts with regard to logistics and supply management.
Procurement and customs clearance are vital on a timely manner otherwise opportunities will be lost to distribute bed nets on time to beneficiaries. With this regard, customs clearance is often a bottleneck and therefore improving infrastructure and national systems to ensure timely delivery are also being targeted by UNDP along with national counterparts.
The public distribution witnessed wide participation of communities in the targeted areas. Around 830 campaign volunteers have provided awareness and malaria prevention messages under the supervision of the Department of Integrated Vector Control of the Ministry of Health. Alongside these awareness activities, behaviour change campaign is organized to encourage people to sleep under the bed nets and is accompanied by mass-media communication through radio and TV programmes.
As part of its role as the Principal Recipient for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, UNDP is working closely with various partners to scale up malaria intervention to support the implementation of the National Malaria Control Programme in Sudan.