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Health ministry lays off staff at emergency center over funding

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Monday, November 8, 2021

The fully functional Public Health Emergency Operations Centre in Juba will serve citizens across the country - Credit | @WHO South Sudan

The Ministry of Health has laid off some coronavirus essential workers at the Public Health Emergency Operation Center over lack of money.

Since South Sudan recorded the first case of coronavirus in April last year, health partners have been supporting the ministry, providing both money, expertise and equipment.

For example, Trinity Energy Company was providing monthly incentives of 100 US dollars to each of the 66 workers.

Other support include fuel to run the health centers particularly the Dr. John Garang Infectious Disease Unit.

However, the ministry recently received notifications from the partners on funding shortages.

Dr. Angelo Guop, the director of Public Health Emergency Operation Center  explained that they did not remove many people from the Emergency Operation Center.

“We downsized only 4 from the Emergency Operation Center. The Rapid Response team are also Ministry of health staff but they are working in other locations, from 28 members, we removed 14 and remain with 14 now, that is half of the team,” Dr. Guop said.

“In case management, we were having in total 14 as well. We remove by then 7 and remain with seven but recently we removed 5, and remain with only 2. Mortality surveillance they were 14, we first removed 7 and recently we removed 5 and remain with 2. At the call center, there were 32 people who were in the emergency call center here communicating with the public. We only have 17 people now.”    

Dr. Guop went on and says the move will have little impact on the center since the country has been lately recording few incidences of covid-19.

“Cases are not like in July last year where we were seeing 100 cases per a day 100 cases, we were seeing 50 cases. Today, we are seeing 20, 15 cases. It is actually challenging downsizing because of funding but if funding was there teams could continue.”

As of last week, South Sudan recorded more than 12,000 cases of coronavirus after it recorded 24 new cases at the weekend.

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