Juba — 30 November 2021 - To determine the pending priority activities, funding gaps and potential funding sources for the implementation of the National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS) 2020-2024, South Sudan's Ministry of Health with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners have embarked on mapping of existing and potential resources in an effort to strengthen health security.
The implementation of the NAPHS will help the country to attain the core capacity requirements under the International Health Regulation (IHR, 2005).
Given South Sudan's increased vulnerability to numerous emergencies with public health consequences and in a fragile, conflict-affected, and vulnerable setting compounded with severe food insecurity, floods and disease outbreaks there is a need to identify available resources and invest more in preparedness in order to strengthen whole-of-government, whole-of-society institutional capacities for implementation of NAPHS.
"NAPHS is a great achievement we must move ahead with the resource mapping and partnership building. There is a need for all stakeholders to ensure that South Sudan establishes and maintain the necessary capacity for health security under the IHR 2005", said Dr Paul Samson Baba, Acting Undersecretary at the Ministry of Health.
Dr Baba urged partners to use the tool to map health security technical and financial resources in the country.
Dr Fabian Ndenzako, the WHO Representative a.i. for South Sudan underscored the importance of strengthening stakeholder engagement and collaboration to ensure alignment of efforts, reduce duplication for an enhanced emergency response capacity in the country.
"South Sudan has made progress in health security planning by completing the Joint External Evaluation of the country's health emergency preparedness capacities and using the recommendations to develop and launch the National Action Plan for Health Security", said Dr Ndenzako. "We must ensure that the NAPHS is implemented as it must be in order to establish and maintain optimal national capacities to prevent, detect and respond to any public health threats"
The exercise has been facilitated using the resource mapping tool and process developed by WHO. The tool maps the health security projects that donors and the government are supporting in the country, allowing policymakers, donors, and partners to see where gaps exist and where more investment of financial and technical resources is needed. This provides valuable information for the country and at the same time offers visibility for the partners' investments.
The tool is also used to monitor how much progress is being made towards implementing the NAPHS and to identify human resource needs for implementation of the plan, such as expert technical assistance in specialized areas. This human resource mapping is designed to inform mobilization of technical assistance through the Global Strategic Preparedness Network (GSPN). WHO is launching GSPN in 2022 with multisectoral partners to support implementation of country priority health security actions.
During the mapping t 29 to 30 November 2021 participants mapped all the projects with resources committed or pledged towards health security enhancement. Participants also reviewed the implementation of planned NAPHS priority activities and discussed ways of increasing advocacy to secure additional resources and technical support to facilitate implementation of NAPHS priority activities.
The other participating sectors and partners included among others the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Ministry of Wildlife, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the International Organization for Migration, and the United States' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.