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South Sudan launches five-year health security action plan

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By Julius N. Uma

December 13, 2020 (JUBA) - The Republic of South Sudan has launched a comprehensive five-year National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS) covering the periods 2020-2024.

Health worker disinfencts Juba airport from coronavirus on 31 January 2020 (AFP photo)

The comprehensive national plan was developed based on the Joint External Evaluation conducted in 2017 to strengthen core capacities in South Sudan as required under the International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005.

Speaking during the launch of the plan, Cabinet Affairs Minister, Martin Elia Lomoro said the National Action Plan for health security in South Sudan is one of our key national priorities.

This comprehensive plan is a high-level policy matter that needs a timely release of resources”, he said. “In collaboration with our partners, we will ensure that we take concrete steps to make sure that we take charge of health needs in the country”.

According to officials, the NAPHS will be implemented over the coming five years (2020-2024) to accelerate progress towards attaining and maintaining IHR core capacities and institutionalising the One Health and all-hazards approaches to protect the country and the world from the impacts of public health emergencies.

“The launching of the NAPHS, a multi-disciplinary plan is an important milestone for our health care system to manage public health risks”, said the Undersecretary at the Ministry of Health, Dr Achiek Mayen Machut.

“We need to be prepared to manage risks that are real and can happen anytime. Hence mobilizing resources is paramount to translate the plan into action,” he added.

The plan will reportedly facilitate multi-sector engagement and guide implementation of activities for progress towards attainment of International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005 core capacities required for enhancing Global Health Security.

For his part, Dr Olushayo Olu, WHO Representative for South Sudan said the NAPHS allows the opportunity to build multisectoral capacities to comprehensively respond to outbreaks.

"The plan will also foster progress towards bridging the humanitarian and development divide", he stressed.

Olu said WHO will work with the Government of South Sudan and partners to mobilize the required resources and provide technical leadership and guidance for the implementation, monitoring, and evaluating the implementation of the national action plan.

Meanwhile, a total of $69.1 million is required for the full implementation of this comprehensive five-year plan to improve health emergency preparedness and response in South Sudan.

(ST)

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