By Theodore Jones –
South Sudan and the World Health Organization (WHO) declare they have increased Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) preparedness and response readiness, in the high-risk counties of Morobo and Yei River, Central Equatoria state.
In a joint statement issued in Juba, Fabian Ndenzako, WHO Representative for South Sudan, said the UN agency had begun drafting a response plan and mobilizing resources to ensure that needed planning and readiness priority tasks were carried out.
“We must begin collaborating with partners, mobilize resources, and be vigilant in detecting, reporting, investigating, and responding to any suspicious instances or deaths.”
Ndenzako reaffirmed the WHO’s commitment to bolstering country preparedness, surveillance, and response capabilities in order to protect national and international public health security.
“Since the EVD outbreak was reported, South Sudan’s Ministry of Health, WHO, and partners have been ramping up preparedness and response readiness capacity in high-risk counties that share direct borders with DRC’s North Kivu Province.”
WHO stated it backed the Ministry of Health’s decision to send a multidisciplinary team of epidemiologists, doctors, IPC officers, and risk communication experts to Morobo and Yei River counties to improve coordination and surveillance.
The continuous EVD transmission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to Yona Kenyi, State Surveillance Officer at the Central Equatoria State’s health department, puts South Sudan at risk.
South Sudan, according to Kenyi, must be watchful and ready to respond to any possible EVD incidence.
“Although no Ebola cases have been confirmed in South Sudan, one suspected Ebola case from Yambio was investigated and tested negative for Ebola and Marburg virus after tests at the National Public Health Laboratory.”