Ebola Virus Disease Technical Working Group – Logistics and Operations: Standard Operating Procedures for Suspected Sample Transfer requests to UNHAS, January 2020

1. Background

South Sudan has been declared a high priority country due to the sharing of borders and cross border movement of people into South Sudan (SSUD) from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The high-risk states due to the sharing of land borders or due to internal flights from DRC or Uganda have been identified as:

Jubek – internal flights to Juba International airport (JIA)

Yei river state – long land border with DRC

Gbudue – land border with DRC

Maridi – land border with DRC plus international flights

Tambura – land border with DRC

Torit – through Nimule which is a major land border crossing

Wau – international flights to Wau airport

The World Food Programme, with its vast operational footprint and logistics experience, has been requested by the National Task Force (NTF) led by the Ministry of health (MoH) to set up a Logistics Working Group (LWG) to support in developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for preparedness activities associated with the current EVD scenario.

A key element of these preparedness activities are the SOPs concerning requests for Suspect Sample Transfer (SST) through the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) from remote field locations in SSUD to Juba.

These SOPs will be widely shared at the state and national level to ensure that the correct procedures are followed. Failure to follow these steps may result in delays in sample collection.

These SOPs have been taken from the UNHAS Global SOPs for ease of reference for organisations associated with SST and WHO SOPs for the transfer of infectious substances.

Source: World Food Programme