UN expands South Sudan's COVID-19 treatment center with partners


File photo: AP

JUBA, May 16 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) said Saturday it has teamed up with WFP and other partners to support South Sudan's health ministry to upgrade and equip the Dr. John Garang Infectious Diseases Unit (IDU) to provide supportive treatment for severe and critical COVID-19 patients.

Olushayo Olu, WHO Representative for South Sudan, said the expansion of the IDU which started mid last month has augmented the bed capacity in the IDU from 24 to 82 to bridge the demand gaps for admission.

"As the COVID-19 situation rapidly evolves, caring for prevention of the disease and caring for those who are sick, in the safest manner possible, is our top priority," Olu said in a statement issued in Juba.

He said due to the unprecedented public health situation of COVID-19, the global response to the pandemic requires partner organizations to work together to deal with the challenges which may lie ahead.

"Public health emergencies put health systems and their ability to deliver health care services under strain," he added.

Olu noted that WHO will continue to support the Ministry of Health in enhancing the COVID-19 response through strengthening national and sub-national coordination, surveillance and contact tracing, laboratory testing, procurement of supplies as well as training health workers.

The new 82-bed capacity treatment unit has a temperature-controlled dispensing pharmacy and a fully equipped laundry to boost infection prevention and control.