Since its independence, South Sudan has been working towards improving its healthcare system, among other development goals. However, poverty, lack of adequate infrastructure, prolonged conflict, and devastating impacts of climate change has slowed this progress despite its moderate advances over the last couple of years.
The maternal mortality and mortality rates of children under five years are severely high at 789 per 100,000 and 99 per 1,000 live births, respectively.
Communicable diseases constitute a significant public health problem.
2020 posed a unique challenge as the COVID-19 pandemic wildly spread across the world, leaving no country untouched. Thus, the country quickly adapted to the new environment and directed its resources towards mitigating its spread. However, this forced the government to stall development and plans in other socio-economic sectors, including public healthcare.
The country also witnessed devastating floods this year. Under the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) guidance,
WHO and partners responded to the emergency by reaching out to the affected communities, especially in the far-flung areas, with the required health services and kits despite facing severe hindrances.
Rising to the challenges, the Organization has adapted its programmes and interventions to address the urgent issue of containing the spread of COVID-19 in the country through technical, capacity building, and strategic initiatives.
WHO continues to enhance the technical and operational capabilities and ensures accountability. It is supporting the MoH and partners in the following areas:
• Strengthen the coordination, supervision, monitoring, and evaluation of health services delivery.
• Develop a health system recovery and stabilization plan, a roadmap for building a resilient health system.
• Advocate for more domestic resources and support towards the attainment of universal health coverage.
• Strengthen health security through finalization, resource mobilization, and implementing the national action plan for health security.
• Bridge the humanitarian-development nexus using innovative approaches.
• Implement key lifesaving interventions such as immunization service delivery, provision of emergency health care services, diagnosis and treatment of communicable and non-communicable diseases, epidemic preparedness, and response, among others.