In recent months, South Sudan has experienced its most devastating floods in 60 years, with torrential rains ravaging several parts of the country. More than 1 million people across half of South Sudan have been affected by devastating flooding since July 2020 (1). Entire communities have fled to higher ground to escape the rising waters and approximately 366,000 people are currently displaced, with women and children being most heavily affected (2).
MENTOR, together with partners on the ground, have been working tirelessly, to overcome challenges and deliver routine disease control activities in the flood-affected areas of our target communities in Upper Nile and Unity State. This includes 5 major operational sites Renk, Ulang, Bentiu, Maban and Jamjang where MENTOR provides life-saving activities to 6 refugee camps, adjacent host communities and 1 Protection of Civilian site.
Challenges faced on the ground have included issues of accessibility, further amplified by COVID-19 preventative measures. This, coupled with insecurity and resource constraints has created a testing environment for our staff. Nevertheless, during this period of extensive flooding MENTOR was able to deliver IRS activities in target areas of both states, providing protection from malaria and other vector-borne diseases to some 24,988 households and approximately 195,542 beneficiaries. Larviciding and fly control activities were conducted where feasible and across the 5 operational sites a total of 50,877 breeding sites have been treated for mosquito larvae and some 36,867 for fly control.
Other activities delivered during this period have included; health education sessions and information education communication (IEC) messaging and materials reaching some 6,767 individuals. MENTOR has also provided official training to 48 health workers in the correct diagnosis and management of malaria and other vector-borne diseases. These health workers were drawn from the Ministry of Health, as well as various agency/INGO-run health facilities.
Surplus to these activities MENTOR has been committed to ensuring that medical services continue to be delivered undisrupted and has supplied 159,000 malaria RDTs, 14,100 malaria treatment tablets and 4,700 doses of injectable Artesunate to health partners in the field.