South Sudan

COVID-19 taskforce committee in Torit receives ambulance from UNMISS

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MOSES YAKUDU

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan has handed over a vehicle meant to be used as an ambulance to the COVID-19 taskforce committee in Torit. The car will enable safe movement of suspected Coronavirus patients to isolation centres.

“I imagine what we would have had to go through had UNMISS not given us this ambulance,” said Charles Harun, head of the cleaners at the main hospital in Torit, which previously had only one such vehicle, which for hygienic reasons could not be used for both possible COVID-19 patients and persons suffering from other ailments.

Over the past few days, 23 infections of the viral disease have been confirmed in and around Torit, including medical staff, employees of non-governmental organizations, UN staff and residents of local communities.

“As a woman, I am very grateful that the mission is supporting our state hospital in this time of dire need. We appreciate this show of solidarity and humanitarian spirit,” said Paska Iyom, a local beneficiary praising the partnership between the peacekeeping mission and the communities it serves.

“If the ambulance is used properly, it will help meet the population’s urgent needs, save lives as well as assisting Torit hospital medical staff in addressing the threat of the Coronavirus,” said Caroline Waudo, head of the peacekeeping mission’s field office in Eastern Equatoria State, adding that a second ambulance will be handed over to the local authorities in Kapoeta, to be used in the same way.

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan is supporting national-led efforts to keep COVID-19 at bay in numerous ways, and its field office in Eastern Equatoria is no exception. Posters, radio talk shows, messaging in different local languages and the donation of hundreds of solar-powered radios are some of the actions undertaken in the state, handing over personal protection equipment and transforming a maternity building into an isolation centre are others, with the isolation facility expected to be operational next month.

“UNMISS is providing continuous support that we both recognize and appreciate. I add my voice and thanks on behalf of the state government,” said Ocitti Emmanuel, Secretary-General of the defunct Torit State.