JUBA – South Sudan states health ministers should take on a leading role in an effort to fight the deadly coronavirus pandemic, according to Dr. Victoria Achut, undersecretary at the federal health ministry.
“As we are expecting vaccines to arrive in the next few days, it is important for state ministers of health to take the lead in deployment of the vaccines,” Dr. Achut said during a five-day conference on leadership and governance on Monday.
Dr. Achut stressed the need to integrate COVID-19 into existing health structures
“It is important for state ministries of health to integrate COVID into existing health structures because COVID is going to remain with us for a while,” she said.
She emphasized the need for states health ministry’s to encourage people to get vaccinated for COVID-19 to slow the transmission of the disease and protect the population.
“Everybody is asking for the vaccines and this is an opportunity for state ministries of health to make awareness and ensure people take vaccines as quickly as possible,” she said.
“Utilized state radios to disseminate messages on health especially on COVID-19 such as adhering to preventive measures as well as uptake of the vaccines,” she added.
In July, South Sudan closed down all the Covid-19 vaccination centers after it running out of jabs.
In March, South Sudan received its first consignment of 132,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines from the Covax facility but 72,000 of them were donated to neighboring Kenya over concerns that they would expire before use.