Malaria Indicator Survey 2009, South Sudan: Baseline Results at Household Level
South Sudan has borne the brunt of years of chronic warfare and probably has the highest malaria burden in sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the country. This nationally representative survey aimed to provide data on malaria indicators at household level across the country.
In 2009, data were collected using a two-stage random cluster sample of 2,797 households in 150 census enumeration areas during a Malaria Indicator Survey (MIS) in South Sudan. The survey determined parasite and anaemia prevalence in vulnerable population groups and evaluated coverage, use and access to malaria control services. Standardized Roll Back Malaria Monitoring and Evaluation Reference Group (RBM-MERG) MIS household and women’s questionnaires were adapted to the local situation and used for collection of data that were analysed and summarized using descriptive statistics.
The results of this survey showed that 59.3% (95% CI: 57.5-61.1) of households owned at least one mosquito net. The proportion of the population with access to an ITN in their household was 49.7% (95% CI: 48.2-51.2). The utilization of insecticide-treated nets was low; 25.3% (95% CI: 23.9-26.7) for children under five (U5) and 35.9% (95% CI: 31.9-40.2) of pregnant women (OR: 1.66 (1.36-2.01); P =0.175). Prevalence of infection was 24.5% (95% CI: 23.0-26.1) in children U5 and 9.9% (95% CI: 7.4-13.1) in pregnant women. About two thirds (64%) of children U5 and 46% of pregnant women were anaemic. Only 2% of households were covered by indoor residual spraying (IRS) the previous year. Data shows that 58% reported that malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes, 34% mentioned that the use of mosquito nets could prevent malaria, 41% knew the correct treatment for malaria, and 52% of the children received treatment at a health facility.
The observed high malaria prevalence could be due to low levels of coverage and utilization of interventions coupled with low knowledge levels. Therefore, access and utilization of malaria control tools should be increased through scaling up coverage and improving behaviour change communication.