JUBA, South Sudan inaugurated a major disease surveillance center to enhance its capacity against infectious diseases like Ebola, meningitis and HIV/AIDS.
South Sudan will use the state-of-the-art Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC) to monitor and combat major diseases and help mitigate humanitarian crises, health minister Riek Gai Kok said.
“The idea of the public health emergency operations center came as a result of lessons learnt from Ebola outbreak in West Africa,” Kok said in Juba during the inauguration attended by diplomats.
PHEOC manager Mathew Tut Moses said the facility will serve as a central location to coordinate information and resources on all health-related issues in the country, including humanitarian crises.
South Sudan in 2013 experienced a cholera outbreak that killed over 260 people; other diseases like hepatitis, meningitis and measles are still menacing people there.
South Sudan has already set up 14 screening points to prevent the Ebola virus from spreading from neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Experts say some areas bordering Uganda and the DRC are inaccessible due to bad roads and insecurity, hampering preparedness and monitoring.
South Sudan has suffered from a civil war since December 2013, which led to the death of thousands and the displacement of more than 4 million others.
Despite the signing of a fresh peace agreement in late August between President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar, intermittent fighting continues in the Yei River State, which borders both Uganda and the DRC.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK