The year 2022 has been marked by a continuing but increasingly contained COVID-19 pandemic, flooding, the humanitarian impact from most parts of the country, and the resultant economic impacts from all, which have placed the health and well-being of millions at risk.
Beyond COVID-19 and monkey pox pandemic we have risen to the challenge in response to multiple health crises in the country. Complex emergencies, upsurge of malaria cases and outbreaks of cholera, anthrax and measles; Ebola from neighbouring Uganda, to name just a few, have necessitated our urgent action as a nation.
This Christmas and end of the 2022 festivity is going to be better from the last year 2021 as COVID -19 moving averages for yield, case count, and proportional daily case change have stabilized to low figures
in recent epidemiological weeks. Concerning Ebola Virus Disease, Uganda is counting down to declare the end of the outbreak, while South Sudan is still at the peak of preparedness and readiness activities.
Nevertheless, I admonish the public to remain vigilant during this period and observe all public health measures to protect ourselves from COVID-19 which spreads through gatherings, and
we are especially vulnerable during holidays as we visit others, participate in congregations and travel to other locations even outside the country. In many parts of the nation, far fewer than our objective of 100% of high-risk populations and 70% of all people country-wide are vaccinated.
There is still work to be done to increase access to healthcare. The pandemic has derailed the progress being made toward universal health coverage, with disruptions in essential health services.
I would like to thank our Government for all the support towards health sector as well as efforts to bring peace and stability to our Country despite all barriers. And to all the people of South Sudan, thanks you
very much for your patience, understanding and showing spirit of nation building. To all our partners that have contributed to improving and strengthening the health system throughout the Nation, Shukuran/Thank You. As we begin the year 2023, we look forward to a strengthened partnership and devotion to our common health goals towards ensuring every South Sudanese lives a healthy life.
On behalf of Ministry of Health and on my own behalf, I would like to inform the public that, all Out -patients departments (OPD), Emergency Departments (ED), In-patient Departments in public hospitals across the country, the Public Health Emergency Operation Center (PHEOC)
in Juba and other public health facilities will remain functional during the Holiday Season.
Though our tradition and customs are full of good practices and our people are cordial, however, there are also negative practices especially related to over consumption of alcoholic drinks during the festivity resulting into fights and road traffic accidents leading to injuries and fatalities. We must resist this temptation and stay safe. In case of any disease alerts or public health events call the toll-free number ‘6666’ or ‘2222’ to report or ask for information and health advice.
Merry Christmas and happy new year to you all.
Yolanda Awel Deng Juach, National Minister, Ministry of Health
Republic of South Sudan