The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday donated medical supplies worth more than 85 million South Sudanese Pounds (5.2 million U.S. dollars) to boost the east African nation’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alain Noudehou, humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan, said the 70 tons of the medical goods were procured by the WHO using funds from the South Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SSHF) and the African Development Bank Group (AfDB).
Noudehou said in a statement issued in Juba that the donation included personal protective equipment, face masks, face shields, respirators, gowns and goggles.
He said the medical supplies would help protect healthcare workers from infection as they offered critical care to COVID-19 patients.
“Frontline workers need to be protected while they carry out the important work of providing assistance to the people of South Sudan,” said Noudehou.
“Our objective is to ensure that health workers and others performing critical public health functions receive the much-needed personal protective equipment (PPEs) in prioritized locations as soon as possible,” he added.
He said the pre-COVID-19 humanitarian operations must continue to avoid life-threatening consequences for people already facing serious risks, including renewed conflict, food insecurity and preventable diseases.
Elizabeth Achuei Yol, South Sudanese health minister said the donation will help protect health workers fighting the global pandemic.
Statistics from South Sudan’s ministry of health indicates that 126 health care workers in the country have tested positive for COVID-19, while one has succumbed to the disease.
South Sudan confirmed its first COVID-19 case on April 5 and the number has since risen to 2,536, with 47 deaths and 1,296 recoveries as of Thursday.