The ongoing and escalating Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) remains a serious public health threat to South Sudan. Since the outbreak in DRC was announced in August 2018, the Government of South Sudan and its partners have been working collectively to carry out activities in high-risk locations1 to prevent the spread of EVD to the country, and to enhance readiness to respond in the event of an outbreak.
Between August 2018 and March 2019, under the first iteration of the EVD Preparedness Plan, South Sudan’s preparedness has improved significantly, as recognized by the findings of successive Joint Monitoring Missions (JMMs). Generous and timely donor contributions have enabled, amongst others, the setting up of 24 functioning screening sites at border points of entry; the establishment of four isolation units with dedicated ambulances; the training of 900 frontline health care workers and community volunteers on signs, symptoms and protective measures, including infection prevention and control; the training and equipping of 28 Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) to respond to alerts; and the pre-positioning of personal protective equipment (PPE) in high-risk locations including screening and surveillance points.
This second iteration of the EVD Preparedness Plan, covering the period from April to September 2019, consolidates and sustains achievements to date, while prioritizing other critical activities to prevent and control a possible Ebola outbreak in South Sudan.
An additional $12 million is required to reach the required preparedness thresholds.
Maintaining improvements made in surveillance and screening; enhancing supervision of isolation units; and continuing the training cadres of health professionals through on the job mentoring and regular supportive supervision;
Strengthening and expanding risk communications and community mobilization; increasing targeted training of health and community workers; upgrading three holding units to establish three additional phase two isolation unit status; enhancing coordination structures; and consolidating information management and reporting; and
Improving community surveillance; and putting in place a 72-hour response plan.
The plan has been developed by the EVD National Task Force (NTF), based on inputs from respective Technical Working Groups (TWGs). It is intended to inform all stakeholders about the focus and prioritization of prevention and preparedness activities to be conducted over the coming six months, guiding the deployment of technical and financial resources.