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S. Sudan: Malaria Consortium wins operational excellence award

February 19, 2012 (JUBA) - A leading global non-profit organisation dedicated to the comprehensive control of malaria and other communicable diseases, has won an award for operational excellence in South Sudan.

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The Malaria Consortium, which also strives to promote child health in Africa and Southeast Asia, was early this month, recognised for "operational excellence in a difficult environment" at the 2013 Alliance for Malaria Prevention Partner’s Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

"Getting this award is exciting as it is crucial the international malaria community acknowledge the importance of operational research in difficult environments", Lisa Woods, Malaria Consortium’s South Sudan Project Coordinator said in a statement.

This meeting has also provided an opportunity for positive reflection on the operational challenges that we have faced and overcome, during the implementation of this pilot study, she added.

An estimated 70% of populations living in endemic areas of South Sudan are reportedly at risk of contracting malaria. The disease, according to the South Sudan Malaria Indicator Survey, 2009 accounts for between 20-40% of morbidity and over 20%of mortality seen at health facilities.

In 2011, Malaria Consortium, a member of the Alliance for Malaria Prevention (AMP), together with its partners, began a pilot study of long lasting insecticide nets continuous distribution.

The initiative, conducted in Lainya County, South Sudan’s Central Equatoria State, aimed at testing a sustainable method, through community networks, of replacing nets in households where they may have been destroyed, damaged or are lacking.

Meanwhile, as a member of the AMP, Malaria Consortium has reportedly participated in key efforts to develop and share best practice, lessons learned and recommendations for malaria control and prevention through distribution of nets, reviewing net durability, effective care and repair.

AMP supports the scaling-up of long lasting insecticidal nets to maintain universal coverage targets, including mass distribution campaigns and improving continuous distribution channels.

In October 2011, Malaria Consortium, with support from Sudan Ministry of Health, the US aid arm (USAID) and the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID), began preparations for long lasting insecticide net continuous distribution pilot study, to test whether universal coverage can be maintained through a continuous a net distribution system.

“The system keeps mosquito nets in the community at all times, in storage units established in primary health care centres/Units including rural hard-to-reach areas and uses a ‘pull system’ to ensure storage facilities never run out of stock,” further says the statement.

(ST)