By: Prince Bahati, East-Central Africa Division, and Adventist Review, courtesy Adventist Review
A team of Seventh-day Adventist health professionals in South Sudan are helping to prepare the community for malaria season as part of the Total Member Involvement (TMI) initiative across the country. In cooperation with the country’s Ministry of Health, they distributed 5,400 mosquito nets in various centers.
“During the imminent rainy season, which comes with malaria in its train, the people of Juba, the capital city of South Sudan, will find refuge in the mosquito nets,” said team leader Daniel Machuor.
According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, South Sudan had a population of more than 12 million in 2017. That year, 1.3 million people were infected with malaria. “This disease is a leading cause of death in South Sudan today. It is the number one killer,” said WHO South Sudan representative Evans Liyosi. The deadly mosquito-borne disease accounts for 65 percent of all illnesses reported in health facilities across the country. Every week it infects more than 77,500 people and kills nearly 220, most of them children under the age of five.
TMI is an initiative of the Seventh-day Adventist world church to get every church member involved in sharing Jesus through outreach, community, and evangelistic efforts. In South Sudan, mosquito nets distributed in TMI meetings were not enough for the population in desperate need. According to Machuor, organizers had to set priorities.