WHO and World Bank strengthened disease surveillance and response in South Sudan – South Sudan

August 30, 2022

Over 200 healthcare workers have been trained to improve real-time detection and immediate response to disease outbreaks and other health emergencies.

With support from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ministry of Health has trained medical personnel in over 20 districts in South Sudan on the use of the Early Warning, Alert and Response System (EWARS) to optimize its use in support of surveillance, alert management, and response to outbreaks and laboratory data and management.
EWARS is a web-based system to improve disease outbreak detection in emergency situations.

In 2017, the EWARS project was rolled out across all 80 districts of South Sudan, with the second phase of the rollout further decentralizing data collection and alarm management to the healthcare facility level from 2019 to early 2020.

“With this training, I am able to identify and trigger alerts in the system, review alerts, investigate triggered alerts, and successfully submit verification and/or investigation results to the EWARS system,” said Makuil Michael Magok of Mayendit County Surveillance Officer, Unity State.

South Sudan is experiencing multiple disease outbreaks and floods, increasing the risk of transmission of infectious diseases and other health problems such as severe malnutrition.

dr John Rumunu, Director General for Preventive Health Services at the Department of Health, said: “Given the current humanitarian environment in the country, an effective disease surveillance system is essential to quickly detect disease outbreaks before they spread.”

“Infectious diseases can be life-threatening and difficult to control if not recognized and treated early,” said Dr. Fabian Ndenzako, WHO AI Representative for South Sudan. “With generous funding from the World Bank, we are strengthening EWARS reporting by training medical staff nationwide.”

Before the introduction of EWARS in South Sudan, weekly reporting rates for Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) were only 30%, well below the target of 80%. Upon completion of the EWARS deployment at the healthcare facilities, reporting rates improved and exceeded the 80% target for completeness and timeliness of the weekly IDSR reporting.

The Department of Health, WHO and their partners continue to strengthen disease surveillance and response to meet the core capacity requirements of the International Health Regulations of (2005) for surveillance and response.

Technical contacts:
Malick Gai, email: [email protected]
Rose Dagama, email: [email protected]

For more information or to make interview requests, please contact:
Mr. Atem John Ajang
communications officer
Mobile: +211 921736375
Email: [email protected]

Mrs. Jemila M. Ebrahim
communications officer
Mobile: +211 921 647 859
Email: [email protected]

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