The African Development Bank has donated two cars to support South Sudan’s ongoing Covid-19 response as part of efforts by the Bank and its partners to ease the toll of the pandemic on vulnerable African states. The donation was made to the Ministry of Health through the World Health Organization (WHO), which is implementing the Bank-financed Covid-19 response project on behalf of the Government of South Sudan.
The cars will be used by the Public Health Emergency Operation Centre in Juba to coordinate the incident management system and deploy national rapid response teams to enhance outbreak investigation.
Receiving the vehicles, Minister of Health Elizabeth Achuei said: “The vehicles will facilitate the multidisciplinary and national response in at-risk and affected populations, and thus help save more lives and tackle the negative impacts of Covid-19. I wish to thank the African Development Bank and WHO for the generous support, and we shall ensure good utilization of these vehicles.”
African Development Bank Country Manager for South Sudan, Benedict Kanu, said the vehicles would go a long way in filling the gap. However, the need remains great. “We must not forget the looming food crisis, which is affecting the health and wellbeing of millions of people in South Sudan, as a result of flooding, conflict and the Covid-19 pandemic. We also need to accelerate a vaccine program in South Sudan and elsewhere in Africa to save lives and livelihoods.”
Dr Fabian Ndenzako, the WHO representative a.i. for South Sudan, said: “The vehicles will support continuity of delivery of response mechanisms, as Covid-19 continues to strain the country’s healthcare system. The vehicles will improve emergency preparedness and response and strengthen the health system.”
South Sudan confirmed its first Covid-19 case on 5 April 2020. On 31 August 2021 it had recorded 11,446 cases, 120 deaths and 11,112 recoveries from Covid-19.
In 2020, the Bank provided a $4.2 million grant to bolster South Sudan’s health system and support the country’s emergency Covid-19 response. Through the grant, WHO has provided the Health Ministry with essential medicines, lifesaving biomedical equipment and personal protective equipment. It also facilitated the remodeling of four Covid-19 treatment centres.