Gov’t procures Ebola testing reagents for preparedness

By Bida Elly David

The Undersecretary Ministry of Health yesterday said they were procuring testing reagents for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), which are expected to reach Juba over the week.

She as well confirmed disbursement of half a million US dollars from the Ministry of Finance formerly approved by the cabinet for the contagious Ebola virus disease preparedness and response.

The major aim of procuring the reagents was for testing Ebola as well as to reinforce the country’s preparedness against the complication. The neighboring Uganda confirmed the Sudan strain Ebola disease putting the rest of the East African countries on high alert and panic.

Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper yesterday, Dr. Victoria Anib, the Undersecretary at the national Ministry of Health said they have procured testing reagents which are at shipping process and probably expected to reach Juba late this week.

“We don’t have the timeline for receiving the Ebola testing reagents but we are expecting it as soon as possible. It is being shipped and we are expecting it within the cost of the week,” she affirmed.

“The previous strain we had was URA strain and all the Countries are struggling with this reagent including Uganda. Uganda has some and other Countries will be receiving it soon from the manufacturers,” she added.

Victoria also cautioned rumor mongers to stop confusing the public with fake information and urged the citizens to distant themselves from false information.

She stated that the Country has not yet confirmed any Ebola case until necessary tests are carried.

“The public should not panic up to now we do not have a confirmed case of Ebola and once the case is confirmed, it is going to be announced officially from the official force of the Ministry of Health,” she said.

She underscored that it would be crucial if citizens turn deaf ears to fake information that would trigger panic to the society yet nothing passive exists.

“I want to give a message to the public not to listen to any rumors because in this time of outbreak, rumors are the biggest challenges we are facing. I want people to only listen to the official taskforce of the Ministry of Health but not to any sayings or rumors from the media,” she echoed.

She confirmed that her ministry has finally received half a million USD that’s 330 million South Sudanese pounds earlier approved by the Cabinet for preparedness and management of the Country against the outbreak through awareness.

Dr. Anib said despite the little amount received for the preparedness, the ministry has developed a comprehensive preparedness and response plan that would involve resource mobilization for its execution.

“We have received the money from the Ministry of Finance as formerly approved by the cabinet meant for the preparedness but that money is not a big amount. Still we have developed a plan for preparedness report. It is going to be shared and we are doing resource mobilization for the plan,” she noted.

However, she acknowledged having facilitated all necessary finances to ensure tentative preparedness for fighting the virus and also appreciated the team deployed at the borders for the role they are playing through educating the community on the impacts of the virus.

She said the Ministry of Health and their partners are controlling the borders for prevention.

“In any outbreak or epidemic, there are always people who present with symptoms. When you have a suspected case, you have to make sure that you observe them by giving time to know how they are.”

“Currently there is nothing major. We have not received any classical symptoms of vomits, blood or any. People are saying of suspects but unless it is confirmed, you cannot say it is the case of Ebola. The Ministry of Health is collaborating with the partners by controlling the borders to make sure that people are prevented,” she lamented.

The Public emergency operation center during its weekly media briefing on Sunday stated that they had received five alert and suspected cases across the country’s borders in Eastern, Central and Western Equatoria States respectively but no laboratory confirmation yet.

One of the five suspected cases reportedly died in Kajo-Keji county of Central Equatoria State exhibiting the Ebola-like signs and symptoms

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