George Moi Martin is 20 years old, the oldest of five children who reside with their mother, Hellen, in South Sudan’s capital of Juba. George dreams of becoming a doctor: “I want to become a doctor, specifically a gynecologist, so that I can help these women.”
Recent tragedy and economic hardship have forced George to put his dreams on hold. George’s father passed away in 2020 during a spate of inter-communal conflict. Almost overnight, the burden of making money for the family fell mainly on George’s shoulders.
“I normally hustle some small jobs. My family spends most of their time at home doing domestic activities. I wish a better life for my family.” George and his mother Hellen are featured in this short film:
George does find time to serve his community as a volunteer health worker, going door-to-door educating the community about malaria prevention methods. Malaria is the leading cause of sickness and death in South Sudan (WHO).
“We usually protect ourselves from malaria by sleeping under a mosquito net, we burn mosquito coils inside our rooms to scare away mosquitoes,” George said.
George’s community is now benefitting from a new malaria prevention tool, the Mosquito Shield™, thanks to a pilot project conducted by SFH Rwanda, SC Johnson, and South Sudan’s Ministry of Health. This project is featured in this film:
Mosquito Shield™ is a low-cost, lightweight, and easy-to-use spatial repellent product, created by SC Johnson, that can be hung in semi-enclosed and enclosed spaces to protect against mosquitoes for up to one month. It passively emanates the active ingredient, transfluthrin, using natural airflow to protect people from mosquitoes in a specific area.
George conducted a workshop to educate the community about Mosquito Shield and helped distribute the spatial repellent products. SFH Rwanda, SC Johnson, and South Sudan’s Ministry of Health are currently conducting entomological and user acceptance trials to test the efficacy of this tool, with the goal of adoption into South Sudan’s national malaria control strategy.
“I think it helped because it reduced the number of mosquitoes in our house,” Hellen said.
For the Martin family, reducing the burden of malaria brings peace of mind and freedom to focus more on education and creating a more prosperous future.
George’s mother, Hellen: “I would love to see that my children go to schools and complete their education and become better in the future with good homes such that we can leave happily, let the suffering end with me and that is my daily prayer.”
To learn more about United to Beat Malaria’s work in South Sudan, visit beatmalaria.org/southsudan.