Juba, 5 October 2018 –Dr Olu, Olushayo Oluseun, the newly appointed World Health Organization (WHO) Representative for South Sudan who presented his letter of credentials yesterday, 4 October 2018 to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Presenting his credentials, Dr Olu says, “with Ebola virus disease on our doorstep, I would like to join the Minister of Health in leading a multisectoral approach to ensure that the country is well prepared”.
Dr Olu and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Honorable Deng Dau Deng Malek, both renewed their commitment to support the health sector in South Sudan.
During the ceremony, Honorable Malek acknowledged the tremendous work done by WHO towards strengthening the health sector in South Sudan. He acknowledged that WHO has been present in the country before its independence.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Olu thanked both ministers for the warm welcome and congratulated the Government of South Sudan for the progress made in the health sector despite the difficult and challenging environment.
Thereafter, Honorable Dr Riek Gai Kok, the Minister of Health welcomed Dr Olu to the Ministry of Health and provided a brief update on the health situation in the country.
He commended WHO for the good working relationship and the commendable support provided to interrupt the transmission of cholera outbreak (2016-2017), progress made towards polio and Guinea Worm eradication, the construction of the Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC), the construction and establishment of the six regional maternal complexes, the establishment of the National Blood Transfusion Services in Juba and the National Public Health Laboratory, strengthening country-wide integrated disease surveillance among others.
The Minister of Health and WHO discussed on the importance of ensuring the provision of harmonized and contextualized health service delivery without financial barriers for greater health impact to the people of South Sudan. Despite the progress made, the Honorable Minster emphasized the current challenges facing the health sector especially reduced funding to the health sector, insecurity and limited access to provide health care services.
On behalf of the Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and the Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, Dr Olu thanked both minsters for the ongoing support to and collaboration with WHO. He assured them and the senior officials of both ministries of WHO’s commitment to working closely with the government of South Sudan and other partners to implement the Thirteenth General Programme of Work 2019−2023 (GPW13) within the framework of the WHO Transformation Agenda.
He particularly assured the Ministry of Health, WHO’s commitment to supporting the countries contribution to the triple billion by implementing the Boma Health Initiative (BHI) that addresses health inequity towards achieving universal health coverage, addressing health emergencies and promoting healthier populations to achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG3).
Dr Olu is a Nigerian and holds a Master's degree in Control of Infectious Diseases and Public Health. He has over 27 years of experience in general medicine, public health, particularly infectious disease epidemiology, disaster management, disease surveillance, prevention and control, and donor relations both at technical and managerial levels.
Dr Olu served as WHO Representative in Rwanda from June 2015 to September 2018. His previous work experience includes with a State ministry of Health in Nigeria, Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF), several WHO Country Offices and WHO Inter-Country Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa.
The presentation which took place in Juba at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation was witnessed by officials from the ministries and WHO country office.