South Sudan

WHO Joint Operational Review conducted for effective response to emergencies in South Sudan

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To improve response to emergencies, the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and partners convened a Joint Operational Review (JOR) to evaluate South Sudan’s response to health emergencies and other humanitarian crises. The JoR aimed at identifying and documenting the best practices, gaps, challenges and lessons learned during the response to the humanitarian emergencies so that efforts and resources of WHO and partners are prioritized to deliver results and are aligned with up-to-date, evidence-based plans.

The review focused on key pillars of health service delivery; health information; surveillance and outbreaks; and leadership and coordination in humanitarian response.

During the Joint Operational Review that ran from 27 through 29 September 2021, the stakeholders drawn from different departments within the Ministry of Health, UN agencies and health cluster partners identified Public Health emergencies that continue to drive the humanitarian needs in the country, understand the context, identify and document best practices, gaps and lessons learned to facilitate identification of practical response options to future emergencies.

South Sudan continues to face multiple shocks such as sub-national violence, flooding, COVID-19 pandemic, Hepatitis E virus outbreak, acute food insecurity and circulating vaccine-derived polio virus type 2 (cVDPV2) in addition to the existing level three protracted humanitarian crisis since 2014. Furthermore, the country continues to face challenges in its capacity to respond to emergencies. The compounding effect of multiple emergencies continues to undermine the health system's capacity to respond to health needs adequately.

“To be able to improve our response to the high burden of emergencies that the country is experiencing and will experience in future, we must improve our collaboration, strengthen coordination and embark on implementing efficient, flexible and comprehensive systems that integrate technical staff, resources, and information systems for effective emergency response”, said Dr John Rumunu, Director General for Preventive Health Services in the Ministry of Health

“Given South Sudan’s increased vulnerability to multiple shocks such as flooding and infectious disease outbreaks, strengthening coordination, disease surveillance and response, health information and access to essential health services is critical to reduce their impact on the population by reducing levels of illness, disability and death”, said Dr Fabian Ndenzako, the WHO Representative a.i. for South Sudan. “Thanks to the leadership of the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with partners, WHO has been supporting the Ministry of Health to strengthen responding to multiple emergencies including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic ”.

Technical contacts:

Dr Argata Guracha Guyo, Email: guyoa@who.int Dr Wamala Joseph Francis: wamalaj@who.int Dr Diba Dulacha, Email: dibad@who.int