As the world’s youngest nation makes headway in attaining universal health coverage, Malaria Consortium is the first organisation to implement a new initiative in South Sudan.
The Boma Health Initiative (BHI) is a new national flagship strategy that was adapted by the government of South Sudan in 2016 to reach individuals, families and communities with an integrated package of health promotion, disease prevention and selected treatment packages through a formal community health delivery system at the Boma level, the lowest level administrative division.
Empowering rural communities, Malaria Consortium involved community members through sensitisation meetings at county and payam level and invited them to participate in the selection of Boma Health Committee and Team members. On 27th April 2018, a graduation for Boma Health Team members took place in Twic State, one of the states where Malaria Consortium currently implements integrated community case management (iCCM), a project funded by the Department for International Development (DFID)/ UKAID.
“Malaria Consortium has contributed to develop and strengthen the national Boma Health Initiative policy guidelines over the past couple of years, and our pilot implementation will help generate evidence on effective roll-out and operationalise this new government policy for community-based primary healthcare, sustainably improving equitable access to life-saving services for vulnerable children and communities across South Sudan,” said Dr Zaeem Haq, Malaria Consortium Head of Technical for East and Southern Africa.
This event was also an opportunity to provide feedback on implementation progress and marked the initiation of service delivery by Boma Health Teams, who were presented with bicycles, storage kits for medicines and drugs. The National Minister of Health, Hon Dr. Riek Gai Kok, urged the governor and his administration, the State Minister of Health and the health department to put their support behind Malaria Consortium for the implementation of the initiative.
Dr Denis Mubiru, Malaria Consortium Country Director for South Sudan, stated at the event “While supporting the scale up of the Boma Health Initiative, we will seek to reduce ill health amongst communities, serving a population of 235,640 people. We will continue to work closely with local leaders, communities and health government officials to ensure the success and sustainability of this initiative and to reduce morbidity and mortality in the country.”
Also present for this event was Hon Kon Manyiel Kuol, Governor of Twic State, Solomon Anguei Mayuot, BHI National Coordinator, Hon Dr Edward Ayuong Abyei, Twic State Minister for Health and various commissioners from different counties.
This shift of resources to low cost community health services will improve and refocus diagnosis and treatment for the main killer diseases for children: malaria, pneumonia, severe acute malnutrition and diarrhoea.