Malaria, a stubborn challenge in S. Sudan
By: Sheila Ponnie
Malaria is one of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases and the leading cause of sickness and death in South Sudan, among children under 5 years old.
The World Health Organization has declared 38 countries malaria free since 1955, but its campaign has stalled in parts of Africa, including South Sudan, mosquitoes have become resistant to drugs and insecticides. Global warming is also enabling the malaria parasite to survive in the country.
Harriet Akello Pasquale, the National Malaria Programme Representative says that the whole population of South Sudan is at risk of malaria and this is mostly during the peak season, in South Sudan Malaria peaks during the rainy season so that is mainly between June to November, we see a lot of Malaria cases so that is when a lot of the Malaria cases are reported.
“So we don’t have any part of the country which is malaria free, so the whole country is malaria endemic” Pasquale was speaking during the launch of a new malaria drug to offer more malaria treatment in Juba yesterday.
So from our weekly reports malaria accounts for 68.8% compared to other diseases such as respiratory tract infection and diarrhoea diseases, malaria is always in the top.
Over the past years, we have been seeing increasing trends of malaria transition; the 2019-2018 trends highly compared to other years. And it still shows an increasing trend of malaria cases.
Paspuale said that children and pregnant women are the ones most at risk, they develop more complications from Malaria infection.
“Children under the age of five years old are at high risk of dying from Children due to some challenges such as the long rainy seasons, climatic conditions in the country that are very humid and the issues of population movement due to displacement that leaves the population exposed and at risk of getting malaria.
Due to the changes of malaria cases in the country, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with Shin Poong pharmaceutical company yesterday launched a new anti-malaria drug to help fight the malaria cases in the country.
According to the Minister of Health Dr.Riak Gai Kok, pyramax are other options of the already existing drugs of malaria in the market that are making affordability in the country.
“We are interested in two aspects, one is availability of supplies that will address the major health problems which is malaria than affordability of the products and any attempt of addressing malaria cases is highly welcomed in the country,” He said.
He added that with the introduction of the new drug, it will also address the two aspects of making anti malaria drug available in the country.
Dr. Riak Gai Kok was speaking during the launch on Monday at Juba Grand hotel.
The Minister said that they will make sure the Drug and Food Control Authority work hand in hand with the authorities to determine whether the medicine is to be used in South Sudan.
Shin Poong, Representative and Pyramax Operation Director, Rene Cazetien said that the drug is very effective.
“This drug treats children very fast and it can win a day of defecting malaria within 14hours and the drug is very effective in the body and it protects the body in less re-infection of malaria,” he said.
Cazetin added Pyramax the drug does not have side effects. He said it lessens reinfection of malaria, fast and long term protection and its quality is assured by World Health Organization as well as potential to delay the onset of resistance.
Shin Poong is a Korean pharmaceutical company having a global presence over 45 counties Worldwide and is specialized in Anti-infective medicines.