UN provides South Sudan with $2 million to fight Ebola

Health workers treat an unconfirmed Ebola patient inside a Doctors Without Borders-supported Ebola Treatment Center in east Democratic Republic of Congo, where the aid organization has suspended non-essential work after gunmen abducted two of its local staff. AFP/File/John WESSELS

Health workers treat an unconfirmed Ebola patient inside a Doctors Without Borders-supported Ebola Treatment Center in east Democratic Republic of Congo, where the aid organization has suspended non-essential work after gunmen abducted two of its local staff. AFP/File/John WESSELS

The money will help strengthen surveillance, build case management capabilities, enhance laboratory services and increase infection prevention and control.

The United Nations has given $2 million to South Sudan to support critical Ebola virus disease (EVD) preparedness activities in the country.

An estimated 440,000 people in high-risk areas, mostly in Equatoria, which borders the Ebola-hit Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), will be provided with preventive measures against Ebola through the EVD activities, the Sudan Tribune reported.

The money will help strengthen surveillance, build case management capabilities, enhance laboratory services and increase infection prevention and control in Western, Central, and Eastern Equatoria, according to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha).

“The implementation of the preparedness plan continues across border areas considered to be at high risk of EVD. These include entry screening of travellers at selected points, health facility and community-based EVD surveillance, and community engagement,” the agency said

“Capacity for infection prevention and control, case management, and for safe and dignified burials is also being enhanced. Nineteen screening points are operational across the country.”

A number of NGOs are also active in Yei and have already trained and deployed 40 community-based mobilisers in five communities for house-to-house sensitisation.

A temporary holding unit has also been constructed in Nimule in Eastern Equatoria. In the capital Juba, 40 health workers – trained in infection prevention, control, case management, and water sanitation and hygiene activities – have also been mobilised.

About 56 health facility workers were also trained and given cellphones to help with reporting on surveillance, said Ocha.

However, despite the preparedness, Ocha is struggling with gaining access to areas outside Yei County due to the ongoing insecurity there.

On January 29, aid partners reported that they had failed to secure humanitarian access to Lasu in Otogo County to verify reports of the arrival of over 7,000 returnees from the DRC, who would require EVD screening.

– African News Agency

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