By Taban Henry
South Sudan government through its Council of Ministers in an extraordinary meeting yesterday approved over 30 million US dollars additional Ebola preparedness and response fund.
Earlier last week, the cabinet approved 500,000 US dollars for the preparedness response to the Ebola outbreak that took place in the neighboring Uganda.
Addressing the media after an extra-ordinary meeting on Wednesday, the Minister of Information, and government spokesperson, Michael Makuei Lueth said that the cabinet had approved the sum of over 30 million dollars for Ebola preparedness response.
“The cabinet approved a sum of 30,797,543 dollars in addition to what has been approved,” he told reporters yesterday after cabinet meeting.
Makuei however said development partners are expected to contribute to the funding of the approved Ebola additional budget.
“Last week the cabinet approved a sum of 500,000 dollars and now this amount is approved, it’s subject to discussion and review by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, it is also subject to the contribution and donation of partners such as the World Bank, IMF, WHO and the other partners,” he said.
The information minister stressed that they also expect them (partners) to contribute and “there will be precaution that we will take along to the borders so that Ebola does not spill to South Sudan.
Makuei added that there is already Ebola outbreak in the neighboring country in the central part of Uganda saying Ebola is a disease which usually is carried by people.
So far there has been no case of Ebola confirmed in South Sudan but what the minister said they are doing are precautionary measures and preparing “ourselves for any unforeseeable eventualities.”
“We are preparing ourselves so that we control the borders so that we are prepared to check everybody coming in from any direction so that we are protected,” he lamented.
The Information Minister stated that the main objective was for the Ministry of Health to bring their plan for preparedness, readiness and the action plan.
He however said they are hopeful that it will end up there because it is a disease that comes and go so it’s a matter of time for it to come and go.
He said the Minister of Health has presented preparatory protective measures that will be taken along the borders so as to avoid the coming in of the Ebola virus.
“This plan was approved so that laboratories are set along the borders so that once anybody comes is subjected to testing, investigation and will be allowed to go and if anybody is suspected will be taken for testing,” Makuei further explained.