South Sudan has greatly strengthened its capacities to face the health crisis due to Covid-19 thanks to a grant of four million US dollars provided by the African Development Bank.
As of September 18, the country recorded 2,599 confirmed cases, including 1,290 people cured and 49 deaths.
Last June, to help the country cope with the pandemic, the African Development Bank, through its intervention fund against the Covid-19 pandemic (CRF), granted this grant in order to strengthen in particular the efficiency operations carried out jointly by the South Sudanese government, the World Health Organization (WHO) and various partners.
“Thanks to the program put in place by the Bank and the Government of South Sudan, 376 health workers have been trained in the management of Covid-19 cases, epidemiological surveillance has been strengthened as well as coordination at the sub-national level. The country has received essential equipment in support of its response measures to the pandemic, “”said Olushayo Olu, WHO representative in South Sudan.
Just weeks after the Bank grant was awarded, South Sudan received the necessary medical supplies, including personal protective equipment (PPE), 51 oxygen concentrators, twenty pulse oximeters, thirteen surveillance monitors. and infection prevention and control equipment. The renovation of 17 health establishments has been programmed as well as their equipment to allow effective management of cases.
This program helps strengthen local case management capacities and increase surveillance and detection of Covid-19 cases. It also contributes to strengthening South Sudan’s response capacities, particularly at the sub-national level.
Since health workers have been trained, surveillance, sample collection, testing and contact tracing have been going more efficiently. At least 84% of the contacts of infected people could be identified through follow-up operations.
“”The training strengthened my confidence and aroused in me the need to continue updating my knowledge on Covid-19 in order to be able to help the people of South Sudan””, testified Majok Philips Matiop, manager chief case officer responsible for home isolation measures.
Preliminary studies for the construction of an oxygen production unit, in particular through the evaluation of existing factories throughout the country, were carried out. WHO should provide the country with technical expertise to deal with the disease. Discussions among key stakeholders are also underway for a project to establish a health office at Juba International Airport.
The Bank’s country director for South Sudan, Benedict Kanu, said the bank’s intervention came at an opportune time. “The pandemic has exposed major gaps in health services, including inadequate personal protective equipment in many African countries, including South Sudan. The Bank’s assistance will help improve the country’s health system and make it more able to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and other health emergencies to come ”, he said. .
South Sudan has also suffered a locust invasion, which threatens the country’s food security. As of April 2020, the African Development Bank had provided emergency assistance of US $ 1.5 million to South Sudan and several other countries in the Horn of Africa region to strengthen the effectiveness of measures locust control.
SOURCE: African Development Bank Group (AfDB)”