17th September 2019
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Extend Ebola prevention plans to opposition held areas -Gov’t

Author: Rosemary Wilfred | Published: 3 months ago

UNMISS distributes Ebola awareness posters to South Sudanese communities bordering the DR Congo | Credit | UN PHOTO: James Sokiri/UNMISS

The government has urged health partners to work with some opposition figures who are not signatories to the revitalized agreement in order to extend the Ebola response and preparedness services to areas under their control.

On Friday, the Council of Ministers directed the Ministry of Finance, Directorate of Customs, and the National Revenue Authority to exempt all Ebola medicines and equipment entering the country.

The cabinet said the clearance of Ebola response materials should be given the highest priority at all border points, after two cases were confirmed in Uganda’s Kasese district near Congo.

Information Minister, Michael Makuei said the cabinet also directed health partners to engage the National Salvation Front -led by General Thomas Cirilo -which has presence in parts of Yei River State which shares a border with DR Congo.

General Cirillo’s forces have clashed with government and SPLA-IO troops around Yei area since the agreement was signed in September last year.

NAS has refused to be part of the revitalized peace agreement.

Makuei said extending the Ebola preparedness strategy to NAS control areas will complement government’s efforts to prevent the spread of the disease into South Sudan.

“We have requested the partners to go to those areas so that they work together with the opposition parties –because a disease doesn’t know an enemy or a friend, it doesn’t know the government or a rebel,” he said.

Two weeks ago, the Ministry of Health launched the second Ebola Preparedness Plan.

The updated 6-months plan aims at improving surveillance, training of front line health workers, and increasing the number of isolation units.

It is expected to cost more than $12 million.

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