25 September 2017, Juba – The Ministry of Health, Republic of South Sudan in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), other government ministries/agencies and partners including FAO, UNICEF and IOM completed the self-assessment of the implementation of International Health Regulations (2005) and Global Health Security Agenda(GHSA). The Self-assessment is in preparation for the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) of the International Health Regulations (2005) a key component of the IHR monitoring framework.
Over 15 Government agencies participated in the exercise from 18 to 21 September 2017, including the Ministries of Livestock and Fisheries, Wildlife and Tourism, Disaster and Humanitarian Affairs, Justice and constitutional affairs, Environment, Petroleum and Interior. The Urban Water Corporation, Directorate of Passports and Immigration, The Medical Corps of the National Army and the Police Service as well as the Civil aviation authority also contributed to the assessment.
During the 4 day self-assessment, members of the multisectoral team, led by the respective government experts assessed the country’s core capacities under the 19 technical areas using the WHO Joint External Evaluation tool. The self-assessment reviewed the existing core capacities to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to public health emergencies with the aim to establishing the baseline capacity, gaps and needs of the International Health Regulations (2005) implementation across the different sectors. The team also visited Juba International Airport to assess the capacities available as the main point of entry.
The findings from the assessment will be subjected to a peer review mechanism by the Joint External Evaluation team from the 16 to 20 of October 2017.
“We are living in a one big entity where almost everything is changing on a daily basis. As part of this big entity, we must get ready for all events, thus the importance of IHR”, said Dr Loi Thoui, The Director General for International Health and Coordination in the Ministry of Health. He affirmed South Sudan’s Commitment to adhere to the provisions of IHR 2005, adding that as the latest party to the regulations the Country will require a lot of support to develop all the required core capacities.
Dr Otim Patrick Ramadan, WHO Health Emergency Officer and focal person for IHR, said South Sudan is a priority country as far as health security is concerned. Adding that the self-assessment and JEE will enable the country to identify the most critical gaps within the human and animal health systems, prioritize opportunities for enhanced preparedness and response actions.