20 Sep 2018

 

South Sudan Unveils Ebola Prevention Plan

The South Sudan government and the World Health Organization together with other health partners have unveiled an Ebola Prevention Response Plan, aimed at preventing the spread of Ebola from the Democratic Republic of Congo in to the country.

South Sudan Unveils Ebola Prevention Plan
Dr Riak Gai, the Minister of Health [Gurtong file photo]

By Ojwe Lumara

JUBA, 22 August 2018[Gurtong]-In a meeting at the Ministry of Health on Wednesday, the ministry’s officials, representatives of WHO, police department of Immigration, the army, and other health partners said they were prepared to prevent the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) from entering the country.

This comes after the latest outbreak of EVD in north-eastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo which borders Uganda claimed over 60 lives since it was reported early this month.

In response, the WHO Regional Office for Africa has prioritized four of the nine countries (Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda) neighboring the Democratic Republic of the Congo to enhance operational readiness and preparedness.

These four countries were prioritized based on their capacity to manage EVD and viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF) outbreaks, and their proximity to the areas currently reporting EVD cases.

According to WHO, potential risk factors for transmission of EVD to other neighboring countries, including South Sudan include the transportation links between the affected areas, and displacement of Congolese refugees to neighboring countries.

“South Sudan is close to Democratic Republic of Congo where this transmission is taking place and according to the data of United Nations refugee agency, there are about one million South Sudanese living in DRC,” Evans Liyosi, the World Health Organization Country Representative to South Sudan said.

“This population has equal chances of getting the disease,” he added.

According to UNHCR South Sudan, there are about 600,000 Congolese refugees in South Sudan especially located in Yei River State and Yambio.

The Ministry of Health will deploy experts to support training and strengthen case management readiness.

Surveillance and investigating alert and suspected VHF cases will also be conducted in order to prevent the disease from entering the country.

The experts also revealed that all people entering the country through the high-risk entry points will be screened.

According to the Ministry of Health, screening passengers using UN flights arriving at Juba International Airport is ongoing All passengers arriving at Juba international and Wau International Airports will also be screened.

Entry points such a Nimule border and some border towns in Yambio have also been put on alert to start screening all passengers entering the country.

Dr Riak Gai, the Minister of Health said the information about Ebola Virus Disease should be communicated positively to the public to avoid panic.

“People outside there are very afraid with the rumors going around and this presentation has made it clear that we are on top of this threat due to the help of our partners,” Dr Kok said.


 




 

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