Saving lives in South Sudan through Integrated Community Case Management interventions

Friday 24 January 2020


Children are screened and complicated childhood sicknesses like pneumonia are referred to Kapoeta hospital for treatment. Mothers are also educated to know about the health of their children.

Martin* & his mother after successful treatment/Tito Justin

October 2019 - Kapoeta, South Sudan - In South Sudan, 99 under-five (U5) children were lost to pneumonia per 1000 live birth in 2018. This is higher than the world average of U5 children dying from pneumonia. South Sudan is therefore a high burden country.    Pneumonia is a leading killer of children in South Sudan, causing 20% of under-five deaths in 2018 due to inequality, poverty and lack of access to health.

In Kapoeta, the hospital health officials say they receive high rate of Pneumonia cases. At least 3-5 cases of pneumonia per day and in some extreme cases, Kapoeta hospital receive more than five cases f the disease. They are almost about 7 or 8 patients that are just admitted that afternoon because of pneumonia. 

Martin* was among five children admitted for treatment at Kapoeta hospital because of pneumonia. Martin has fever, cough and wheeze. You can hear Martin breathing at a distance.

One of the babies admitted with Martin the same day died shortly because his mother took him late to the hospital.  Martin survived because his mother, Lokrika, earlier on received awareness from Save the Children Integrated Community Case Management (ICCM) at community level on how to identify childhood illness like pneumonia, malaria etc. and rushed Martin for treatment on the early stage of the disease.  Martin was treated and discharged after 3 days. Without the support of Save the Children ICCM at community level, Martin would have lost his life.

My baby was coughing and have difficulties in breathing. The temperature was also high (baby has fever). I was not sure of the disease and thought it was a normal cough and body temperature. The baby was not breastfeeding. When the child was sick, I though this child is going to die. I then brought the child here and now my child is fine. The doctors have helped the child. Now the child is okay”, said Lorika, Martin’s mother.

Inequality, poverty and lack of access to health services contributes to high rate of Pneumonia in South Sudan but Save the Children’s trained health workers are doing their best to save children from the disease in hard to reach areas.

“What we have been doing on ground currently, we are dealing with malnutrition including all the pneumonia cases. Here in Riwoto, Kapoeta cases of Pneumonia is little bit alarming because of the situation on ground and mostly because of the cultural background because of the poverty level in the community. “We are appealing for support from non-governmental organizations, international or local NGOs as well our government”, said Okello Boasco, Save the Children Nurse in Kapoeta.

SCI is implementing Integrated Community Case Management interventions at community level in Singhata, Katiko, Losolia, Kauto and Jimo (Kapoeta South, Kapoeta East and Budi). Total 497 Community Based Distributors for ICCM with the Support of OFDA (USAID) and active in eight counties of Kapoeta State. One mobile health team, integrated with Child Protection, Nutrition and wash is active in Losolia and in Kauto counties. 

As of December 2019, 574391 children and 237,344 adults were reached across South Sudan in both health and nutrition. Thanks to our health partners - ECHO, USAID and UNICEF.

Video Link

By Tito Justin