By Bida Elly David
Vice president for service cluster discloses that the government has approved 20 million United States dollars for procuring medicines and other health priorities.
Hussein Abdelbagi Akol made the announcement on Monday during a workshop organized by the National Ministry of Health on the transformation project of the South Sudan health sector.
“The government here has earmarked $10 million for the procurement of medicines and another $10 million allocated for other medical priorities,” Akol disclosed.
He said the government is working to ensure that it takes full care of the health service sector for the benefit of its citizens.
Nevertheless, he stated that the national allocation to the health sector remains very minimal.
“I am strongly pushing for the increment of the health sector budget to 10% of the entire national budget,” he stated.
The vice president for service cluster said the government is aware of the situation of South Sudan health workers, especially the delayed salaries.
“Our workers, both at the national and under Boma levels, continue to offer duties during difficult conditions. I am aware of the late salaries and absence of medical requirements,” he noted.
He further stated that the government is working towards improving their working conditions.
Akol, however, did not clarify when and how the money would be released, only saying it should be spent for its intended purpose.
Yolanda Awel Deng, the national minister of health, appreciated the efforts made by the government and partners in standing up for the people’s health.
She urged partners and other stakeholders to demonstrate commitment to supporting the young nation.
She underlined that South Sudan is still a young nation whose health sector needs to be supported.
Meanwhile, Western Equatoria minister of health, Hon. James Abdallah Aron said his state is currently hit with a health crisis as most donors have pulled out.
He noted that most health facilities in his state are out of medical stock, adding that his people are desperate for medical help.
“From 2022 to 2023, we faced a great challenge in western Equatoria regarding health service delivery. Because when Help Pool Fund (HPF) started the programme in April 2022, they cut off some of the health facilities, which also reduced the service delivery to our people,” he stated.
He said since HPF withdrew their support from Yambio State Hospital, there has never been any support for the health facility.
“Our people are suffering because the state hospital is the referral hospital that receives patients from Yambio County Hospital, Zara County Hospital, and Meridi County Hospital. But when you go now, the services are really a great challenge,” he said.
He suggested reconsideration of some health facilities whose support was cut off for the sake of innocent citizens.
“Yambio State Hospital should be returned to its position. We want financial and human resource support so that our people get equitable health delivery service,” he appealed.
Aron also pleaded for support for the ten counties, which include Mundri Centre, Mundri West, Mundri East, and Mvolo? Maridi and Iba, Yambio, Nzara Iso, Tombura, and Nigero.