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World Health Organization (WHO) South Sudan concluded the first-ever high-level consultative 2022-2023 biennium plan review with the Ministry of Health

The World Health Organization (WHO) South Sudan Country Office conducted a consultative meeting with the senior management of the Ministry of Health to review the progress made in the implementation of the 2022/2023 biennium plan.

The meeting from 18 to 19 July 2023 aimed to review the progress in implementing the 2022-23 biennium plan and chart ways to achieve the pending activities. WHO plans in two-year cycles (biennium), with the current biennial plan ending on 31 December 2023.

The meeting, attended by 40 participants, was officiated by the Honorable Dr Ader Macar Achiek, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health, and Dr Fabian Ndenzako, the WHO Representative a.i. for South Sudan.

"To be able to deliver on our mandate of ensuring the health and wellbeing of our people, the Ministry of Health and WHO, among our other partners, need to work as a team." I believe this meeting will strengthen WHO and the Ministry of Health's partnership and cooperation and define the way forward on how to collaboratively achieve all that we planned in the 2022/2023 biennium", said Dr Fabian Ndenzako, WHO Representative a.i for South Sudan.

"Despite all the challenges the country is going through, ranging from numerous disease outbreaks and other public health threats, including the impact of the ongoing Sudan conflict, we have made considerable progress in the implementation of our planned activities for this biennium," said Dr Ndenzako. "Together with the Ministry of Health, we have made massive strides in the COVID-19 response by raising our vaccination coverage to 67.7 percent of the targeted population; we have reached 90 percent coverage for measles and cholera".

The meeting conducted a detailed review of the progress made and assessed and discussed the operational issues facing implementing the 2022-23 biennium plan.

During the 2022-2023 biennium, the Ministry of Health, with support from WHO, made several notable achievements, including enhancing the country's core capacities to prepare and respond to disease outbreaks and other health emergencies, including responding to health humanitarian needs of the returnees and refugees fleeing the Sudan crisis, as well as Ebola preparedness and readiness following the Ebola outbreak in Uganda.

In addition, the country conducted mass drug administrations. It achieved 65% coverage for selected Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and conducted its first National Malaria Conference in 2022 to galvanize support for the Malaria programme. The Ministry of Health, with support from WHO, strengthened Immunization activities and achieved 85 percent Penta 3 coverage and 92 percent Measles coverage of the target children. The country-maintained Polio Free Status since August 2020. In May 2022, WHO also supported the Ministry of Health to interrupt the circulating vaccine-derived outbreak of poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2).

Also, WHO supported the Ministry of Health in the development of important national strategic health sector policy documents, including the development and validation of the Health Sector Strategic Plan 2023-2027, the development of the annual National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS) plan as well as development Health Information System (HIS) policy and HIS training guidelines among other documents.

Participants of the meeting recommended institutionalization of the Ministry of Health/WHO quarterly meetings, working together in the development of the 2024-25 biennium at the cluster/directorate level and mainstreaming the Prevention and Respond to Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (PRSEAH).

Other recommendations include the integration of all current data systems into the District Health Information System (DHIS2), strengthening the integration of the delivery of all programs using the Primary Healthcare (PHC) approach, including the Boma Health Initiative (community-based initiative), and strengthening resource mobilization for WHO activities especially in areas that are currently lowly funded.

Directors General, Directors, and other senior officials from the Ministry of Health, WHO Country office senior management, and some technical staff were in attendance.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO) - South Sudan.
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