IOM Backs Sudan Malaria Prevention Campaign

By International Office of Migration (IOM)
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GENEVA, Switzerland, July 25, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- IOM, as part of the Sudan's National Flood Taskforce, which coordinates emergency response operations throughout the country, has been asked by the country's Federal Ministry of Health to contribute to the country's malaria prevention programme ahead of the upcoming wet season.

IOM, with funding from the UN Common Humanitarian Fund, has responded with a contribution of six tons of permethrin EC 25%, an insecticide with low toxicity to humans which prevents the spread of malaria and dengue. The insecticide, which is biodegradable and lasts between 3 and 8 months, is sprayed over stagnant water and used for indoor residual spraying.

The insecticide will be used by the Ministry of Health to cover 30 per cent of its needs countrywide during the rainy season. It will primarily target internally displaced, returnee and host communities in malaria-affected areas and will help to protect an estimated 450,000 – 600,000 families or between 2.25 and 3.6 million people.

Malaria is a major cause of death in Sudan, especially among young children and pregnant women. In the north of Sudan, 16 per cent of hospital deaths are attributed to the disease.

According to WHO, 5 per cent to 12 per cent of malaria-infected people die from the disease, with children under three years of age four times more likely to die than others. The annual estimated number of malaria cases in Sudan is 5.5 million, and nearly 75 per cent of the total population is at risk of malaria.

Increased rainfall, the spread of irrigation within city limits, and construction of new urban colonies without proper facilities for drainage, as well as an influx of refugees and internally displaced persons have all contributed to the spread of malaria in the region.

The rainy season in Sudan usually begins in July and runs through October. The National Flood Task Force is a government-led body established in August 2013 that coordinates emergency response. It is comprised of government institutions and humanitarian actors, including IOM, UN agencies and NGOs.