EES Gets Serious About Cholera Prevention As 90 Community Hygiene Promoters And SPLA Are Trained

This article was last updated on May 26, 2022

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The 90 promoters, who were drawn from all over Torit, completed a one-day workshop which was organized in collaboration with the State Ministry of Health (SMoH).

The training of the 90 has equipped them with appropriate skills and the knowledge of how best to help residents in Torit to adopt practices which promote hygiene. These achievements will come largely through a door-to-door coaching campaign, which will help to minimize the spread of the disease through the town. 

Plan International’s South Sudan State Emergency Response Program Coordinator (Torit), Mr. Graham Juma Koroni, explained that the hygiene promoters will be engaged in disseminating cholera messages in the community and will distribute Aqua tabs for home water treatment plus ORS as a first line treatment, to be used while the family members are struggling to transport suspected cholera patients to the hospital/CTC.

Plan International has commissioned the Community Hygiene Promoters to cover six residential zones within Torit Municipal Council with effect from tomorrow, announced Mr. Koroni.  Plan’s Field Monitor, Sisto Otto further explained to Gurtong that the trained promoters will cover the following areas within Torit Municipal Council:  

1)    Hai Askal, Hai Longute, Hai Mission, Hai Kuku and Hai Muruare
2)    Hai Ilangi and Hai Ifanyak, Hai Lotuko, Omoliha Market and Lobalua village
3)    Hai Iluhum, Hai Slak, Hai Police, Hai Khorton and Malakia
4)    Hai Gumbo, Hai Addis Ababa
5)    Ibalany
6)    Fatur Mafi, Imurok and Ifwotu.

The promoters are expected to complete the assignments within five days, with each promoter to cover 20 households in each day, according to Mr. Otto. He added that they shall be rewarded with cash incentives by his organization upon completion of the work.    

On the same day, 1st June 2014, similar training was held for the army, organized by the Health Ministry at Torit State Hospital. The state Minister of Health urged the SPLA army trainees to take the message acquired to the communities by teaching them how to handle cholera cases and prevent it from occurring or escalating.
Meanwhile, the state health authorities have appealed for cooperation in the collective fight against the disease in the region, which, following outbreaks in other parts of South Sudan, has already spread to EES. Plan International, in collaboration with the state government, and along with its sector partners (notably Red Cross, World Health Organization (WHO), Caritas Torit, UNICEF, Church, and MSF), are keen to work together to address the threat.

One of the promoters, Mrs. Christina Marko, expressed optimism in combating the disease, but foresees challenges, as her region’s residents may have negative perceptions of the initiative, based on the belief that new technology is ineffective against cholera. This may lead them instead to rely on traditional remedies. She however pledged that she and her colleagues will try their best to persuade and influence their communities to adopt the latest approach in prevention and minimization of the cholera spread.

Mrs. Lily Samuel, another of the promoters, welcomed Plan International’s initiative, saying peace will now prevail in among the state residents, especially at the family level, now that an effective approach to managing the outbreak was being implemented. 

The Our Lady of Assumption’s parish priest, Fr. Joseph Aruma Quintino, is also among the promoters. He told Gurtong that currently the situation in Torit is terrifying, as many families have lost loved ones to the disease within the past two weeks. However, he believes that the promotion training will now help reduce the present tension. He pledged that he will utilize Sunday service to preach the message, in addition to the planned field work.  

Plan International South Sudan started operating in Eastern Equatoria in 2011, implementing Food for Education, livelihood, sanitation and hygiene projects in five counties namely; Magwi, Torit, Ikwotos, Lopa/ Lafon and Kapoeta South.

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