JUBA — South Sudan’s Ministry of Health has downsized its COVID-19 response team by 60 percent due to a shortage of funding.
Dr. Angelo Guop Kouch, Director for Public Health Emergency Operation Center (PHEOC) said they reduced the total number of staff to 140 following notification of budget cut from their partners.
“As a result of lack of sustainable support, we have exactly reduced the number of responders, as I am speaking to you now, we have downsized many of them because there is no support,” Dr. Guop told Dawn on Saturday in an exclusive interview.
Guop said the total number of staff has been reduced by 60 percent.
“We have reduced the number of staff by 60%. We are now remaining with 20 staff at Emergency Operation Center (EOC) and 17 in the call center,” he said.
“We downsized staff at Emergency Operation Center to 4 from 14 and in Rapid Response Team, we reduced the number from 28 members to 14, and we have 14 staff in Case of Management, but we removed 12 and now we are left with 2. We have 14 staff at motility surveillance but we removed 12 and now we remained with 2 and in the Call center, we had 32 but we removed 15 and now we remained with 17,” he added.
He said despite the funds’ shortage, the team is still responding to COVID-19.
“The team which is here is still responding to the pandemic in the country and we are calling upon well-wishers, those who have the ability to support people should step forward and help the ministry of health,” h said.
“The downsizing is going to affect the response but what is good now is that cases are not like in July last year where we see per day 100 cases and 50 cases. Nowadays we are seeing 20 to 15 cases,” he added.