South Sudan to enhance Ebola preparedness

Syringe with blood infected with ebola virus in medical laboratory blood test.PHOTO/ GettyImages

A high-level delegation arrived in Yei, South Sudan to support against the spread of Ebola to the Central Equatorial region.

Yei, is one of the hardest-hit by the devastating conflict that has plagued the country for 6 years.

“Because of Ebola, once again Yei is at the frontlines of a new battle and really, in many ways, because of this Ebola threat, it is the most important place in South Sudan right now. This is the place where we are most worried about what might happen here”, said United States Ambassador to South Sudan, Thomas Hushek.

The deadly Ebola virus is causing great pain across the border in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Education is the most significant tool for communities, says Makur Kariom, Undersecretary for Health in South Sudan.

“During the burial in some communities the disease may be kept for days and people dance around the body and touch and kiss the corpse and I think, in the case of Ebola, that will be a dangerous thing to do,” Kariom says. “So, the involvement of the community, educating them into taking ownership of the measures that are required to prevent the spread of the disease is quite important.”

Many countries have donated funds to battle Ebola in South Sudan.

But despite the generosity, an additional $14 million is needed to prevent and adequately prepare for the spread of Ebola to a country still reeling from war and working desperately to build a more peaceful and prosperous future for its people.