Since the onset of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in August 2018, the Ministry of Health and partners have been undertaking activities to mitigate a potential outbreak in South Sudan, and to prepare for a response should an outbreak occur.
In August 2019 a review of the second National EVD Preparedness Plan was conducted under the auspices of the National Task Force (NTF), in conjunction with Technical Working Groups (TWGs), State Task Forces (STFs) and partners. The preparedness plan was originally designed for a six-month period from April to September 2019. As part of the review the life of the plan was extended to cover a nine-month period from April to December 2019, to align future planning cycles with those in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). As such, the next preparedness plan is expected to take effect from January 2020.
This addendum should be read with reference to the original preparedness plan . It provides a succinct overview of the outcomes of the review, including a brief synopsis of progress towards planned preparedness targets as of July 2019, as well as revisions to activities, targets, and commensurate financial requirements for the plan as extended to December 2019. Operational Plans for each technical pillar include more details about indicators, activities, targets, geographical coverage and other factors.
2. Situation update
The DRC is dealing with the world’s second largest outbreak of Ebola. On recommendation of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee, WHO declared the outbreak in the DRC a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) in July 2019. As of 20 August 2019, 2,909 cases had been reported, of which 1,953 died (case fatality ratio 67.1 per cent). Meanwhile in June 2019, three members of a family from the DRC crossed the border into Uganda, all subsequently dying of Ebola. South Sudan shares borders with the DRC and Uganda, with significant cross-border movement of people, goods and services. When combined with a weak national health system, the risk of Ebola for South Sudan continues to be very high. As of end August 2019, 77 verified EVD alerts had been investigated. All laboratory test results proved negative, however, with no confirmed cases.