VIDEO: COVID-19 Preparations in South Sudan
As COVID-19 cases in Africa continue to rise, CMMB staff are working to prepare our country offices for the increase. In South Sudan, our work to prepare the region made local television!
Our response in South Sudan as of May 15th:
Leading COVID-19 Response Efforts in Western Equatoria State: CMMB has worked with government and international NGOs to develop a plan, lead coordination meetings, and fund and implement response activities. A generous grant from the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program is helping CMMB fight the spread of COVID-19 by strengthening the capacity of health facilities.
Opening Hospital Triage Centers. CMMB has set up triage centers at Yambio State and Ezo hospitals, with another slated to open at St. Therese Nzara Hospital, where CMMB has recently completed a new operating theater, maternity ward, and blood bank. The handwashing tap at the Yambio site can be opened and closed with the elbow. It is a permanent structure that will last beyond COVID-19, making handwashing a standard protocol for hospital visitors. Three radio stations broadcast the Yambio event.
Training Health Workers: All 10 boma health teams in Nzara County, including 30 boma health workers, have been trained on COVID-19 signs, symptoms, and prevention. Community health workers on other CMMB projects, including 305 nutrition volunteers and other health volunteers, have also been trained on COVID-19 prevention.
Ongoing Work: As CMMB staff prepare for a potential overload of health facilities’ inpatient wards and reduction or pausing of outpatient services, CHAMPS maternal and child health services have been thriving; increasing numbers of pregnant women have flooded to Nzara Primary Health Care Center for antenatal care, continuously incentivized by the promise of useful mama packs. CMMB’s large, CDC-supported Anisa project, focused on HIV prevention, care, and treatment, has ensured that all HIV clients have obtained a refill of their antiretroviral medications sufficient to last six months; and the project has ensured that supported health facilities have up to a 14-month supply on hand. The CMMB South Sudan nutrition project, funded by UNICEF, has also reviewed supplies to ensure at least 12 weeks’ availability of nutritional supplements.
New Responsibilities for Boma Heath Teams
Boma health teams in South Sudan’s nascent Boma Health Initiative community health program have taken on COVID-19 response in addition to their mandate to provide health promotion and information dissemination and to implement integrated community case management (iCCM), providing basic diagnostic and curative services for common causes of child mortality.