Health Ministry Launches HIV Incidence Management System

National Minister of Health Yolanda Awel Deng (L) during the launch of the Incident Management System and Moses Mutebi (R) Representative of World Health Organization/Photo: Adia Jildo

By Adia Jildo

The Human Immune Virus (HIV) is a major public health threat with over 174,000 people estimated to be living with the virus. This was revealed by Yolanda Awel Deng, the National Minister of Health in South Sudan.

Awel said the targeted 95% control of the HIV epidemic can only be reached by providing quality health services using highly effective ART drugs.

The incidence Management System was adapted to help in coordinating and strengthening the work for effective HIV response mechanism across South Sudan.

“The country has got 35% of the citizens who know their HIV status of which 25% are receiving ART drugs and 85% of those on ART drugs have their virus suppressed,” she cited.

She said there is low coverage of ART service and insufficient investment in Primary Health Care prevention affecting the global 95% target by 2030.

“We can confirm that South Sudan is in line to the world adopting and implementing the new World Health Organization guidelines and recommendation,” Awel said.

She called on the community leaders to support community engagements on HIV in their areas and urged citizens to discourage HIV stigma and discrimination of people living with the virus.

“The government of South Sudan should support domestic investments on HIV/AIDs,” Awel said.

Victoria Akello Pasquale, Director General of HIV/AIDs and Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the Ministry of Health said there has been a low number of people turning up for tests and knowing their status which made them to adapt a new mechanism by using the Incidence Management System.

“We want to make sure that we strengthen the existing coordination mechanism we had in the country. We adapted this incidence management because we have realized that we are still very far from attaining the global target of 95% in terms of HIV intervention for treatment, care and testing,” she said.

She emphasized reasons for adapting the Incidence Management System for a vigorous response.

Over 173,000 persons are estimated to be living with HIV, 27% put on live long HIV treatment and about 84% taking ARV’s have their viral load suppressed.

“Up to 2013, we had about 20 health facilities providing HIV services but now we have 151 health facilities providing these services. We would like to see in the future hat HIV services are integrated in all the health facilities, all the primary health care facilities and by doing so, so many people will be able to easily access the services,” Victoria said.

He encouraged the individuals to come up for testing so as to know their status so as positive people can be able to be given lifelong treatment.

“Currently the country is implementing the Community Led Monitoring System where we want to provide those people living with HIV the rights to tell us the challenges in terms of the services working well,” Victoria urged.

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