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Government approves funds to fight Ebola

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Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Martin Elia Lomuro, speaks o reporters after the cabinet meeting in Juba on Friday, 23 September 2022. (Radio Tamazuj)
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South Sudan’s government has approved 500,000 USD as emergency funds in the fight against Ebola following the reported Ebola outbreak in neighbouring Uganda.

Uganda has confirmed seven cases of Ebola as authorities try to track down 43 contacts of known Ebola patients – two days after the East African country announced an outbreak of the contagious disease.

Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a severe and often fatal illness in humans caused by the Ebola virus. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. Based on previous outbreaks, up to 67% of infected cases die.

Addressing reporters in Juba on Friday after the cabinet meeting, Minister of Cabinet Affairs Martin Elia Lomuro said the ministry of health is ready to control the virus from entering the country.

“The ministry of health has the equipment and the facility and expertise to test and be able to control the disease, and we were told that the ministry is in that position, capable, has the experts and machines,” Elia said.

He revealed that the ministry of finance is ready to release the emergency funds as soon as the paperwork for the payment is ready.

Institutional reforms

Separately, Minister Martin said the cabinet also discussed a strategic plan for the Ministry of Public Service and Human Resource Development.

He revealed that the ministry seeks to introduce reforms in all public institutions. “We should also recognize that the agreement recognizes that these many ministries will be reduced so that we move towards a lean government and that the parastatals, commissions, corporations, whatever these are institutions that run the system, the ministry is now having the task to build institutions to make sure that the country is run by professionals,” Elia said

“There were institutions that we established after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, and those institutions might have been weak in one way or another, but the policy that was presented by the minister is intended to build institutions in South Sudan,” he added.

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Mundri West school welcomes back 5 pregnant

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Pregnant teenage girl. | Courtesy of Radio Tamazuj.
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A school in Mundri West County has resolved to allow back five pregnant primary eight candidates to continue attending classes until they sit for the nationwide exams.

The expectant pupils of Seventh Day Adventist primary school are aged between 14 and 17.

They had returned from holidays – when the school administration took them for pregnancy tests.

This was after it realized that the pupils often fell asleep while in classrooms and they showed pregnancy signs.

They all tested positive for pregnancy.

“One of them denied that she was pregnant, which forced the school administration to subject them to tests,” said Mashir Agree, the Education Director for Mundri West County.

“After several signs of pregnancy appeared, such as sleeping in the classroom, especially after their return from vacation. After the examination, which included eight students, two of them left school after the test results.”

Mashir said the school administration wanted to send them home, according to the school regulations.

But the parents protested saying, they already paid fees for their daughters and demanded that they continue to prepare for the upcoming final exams.

In 2020, authorities in defunct Maridi State revealed that five girls were forced to terminate their studies after they got pregnant while in school.

According to a State of Adolescents and Youth Report in 2020, three out of ten girls became mothers in South Sudan

via eyeradio

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Chickenpox cases detected at overcrowded Wau prison

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Six inmates at the Wau Main Prison in Western Bahr el Ghazal State have been diagnosed with chickenpox, a senior prisons officer said.

Chickenpox is a highly contagious viral infection causing an itchy, blister-like rash on the skin. It is highly contagious to those who haven’t had the disease or been vaccinated against it.

“We have six cases of chickenpox, including one case at the Juvenile Center,” Major General George Gabriel Gilo, Director of Wau Main Prison, told Radio Tamazuj on Wednesday.

Gilo attributed the problem to a lack of sanitation due to the overcrowding of prisoners in Wau Central Prison.

“The prison is overcrowded, and as I speak to you now, the facility hosts 776 inmates, and cells are not enough. So it is very difficult to isolate the infected inmates,” Gilo said.

“I have managed to isolate six people diagnosed with tuberculosis, but with this skin disease, we have not done the isolation. We conducted some awareness last week and agreed that those with chickenpox should maintain social distancing,” he said.

“The main challenge facing us inside the prison here is that we don’t have a sewage tanker. Two weeks ago, the latrines got full and overflowed and it was a problem, especially accessibility by those who have been leg cuffed,” he said.

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Mayom County receives over 3,000 anthrax vaccine doses

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Vétérinaires Sans Frontières (VSF), an International Non-Governmental Organization, last week started rolling out 3,400 anthrax vaccine doses for cattle and other livestock in Mayom County in Unity State, a state official said.

Johnson Bol, the director general of the ministry of animal resources and fisheries in Unity State, confirmed receipt of the vaccines and said the vaccination campaign targets over 8,450 livestock.

“We have started a plan for a livestock vaccination campaign for the next year in June 2023 to vaccinate animals against anthrax,” he said. “As you have heard, flooding affected animals in Mayom County and anthrax broke out five months ago and it was confirmed by the state ministry of health through the national laboratory. So, there is a need to vaccinate animals against anthrax.”

Meanwhile, Francis Kamau, VSF’s emergency response officer, said they plan to vaccinate cattle and other livestock including sheep and goats.

“What we have donated is anthrax vaccines and medicine for contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP), black quarter, and hemorrhagic septicemia,” he said. “These vaccines are for animals and small ruminants”

Kamau however advised the public not to consume meat from dead animals due to the ongoing infection.

Anthrax is an infectious disease caused by gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis. It occurs naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals.

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