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ICRC set to help prevent Covid-19 spread

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Thursday, April 9, 2020

An ICRC Health facility in Maiwut | Credit | Yamila Castro/ICRC-2015

The International Committee of the Red Cross says it is setting up infection prevention and control measures in the three hospitals and 36 primary health care centers it supports in the country.

This is in response to the confirmation of two cases of COVID-19 cases in the country.

In a press release issued on Thursday, the ICRC says South Sudan has a critical window in which actions can be taken to curb the spread of COVID-19 and avert the worst.

This includes the provision of personal protective equipment and training of health staff on how to keep them safe.

“We need to act fast and take preventive measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 before it overwhelms the country’s health care systems,” said Sandra Banks, health advisor for South Sudan Red Cross.

The charity organization states that it fears if the virus takes hold, it could be particularly devastating to communities already suffering from years of war and violence.

It is critically important, ICRC believes, that every person in South Sudan has information on what COVID-19 is, how it is spread, and what measures they can take to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Banks revealed that more than 1,400 volunteers have also been mobilized to run health education campaigns on COVID-19 and distribute soap and water buckets to public places in some parts of the country, according to ICRC.

“With many of the clinics and hospitals in the country degraded by years of war and underinvestment, every health care facility is precious. They must be protected.”

The charity also said it has identified water points in Juba and other parts of the country that need to be repaired so it can help communities have better access to clean water, including for washing hands.

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