COVID-19 cases have been reported in 52 African countries; many having wide-spread community transmission.
Given the high risk of spread of COVID-19 in South Sudan, expanding the Dr John Garang Infectious Diseases Unit (IDU) is one of the key activities which will help protect South Sudanese citizens and residents.
To alleviate the hospital bed shortage designated for COVID-19 in the country, WHO is expanding the Dr John Garang Multi-purpose Infectious Diseases Unit in Juba from 24 to 80 bed capacity treatment center, a temperature controlled dispensing pharmacy and a fully equipped laundry facility to enhance infection prevention and control.
Staffed by the International Medical Corps (IMC) and the Ministry of Health clinicians, the facility will provide care for more patients as opposed to the previous size of the facility.
“Thanks to WHO, the expansion of the Infectious Diseases Unit is an incredible team effort, bringing together partners to separate patients with respiratory symptoms so they are not waiting among other patients seeking care”, said Dr Angok Gordon, Incident Manager for the COVID-19 response at the Ministry of Health.
“Expanding and equipping healthcare facilities is fundamental to protect both patients and staff”, said Dr Olushayo Olu, WHO Representative for South Sudan. “The expansion of the IDU establishes a tertiary health facility capable of delivering quality healthcare services and ensures adequate protection of staff, patients and prevention of environmental contamination”.
The Infectious Disease Unit was designed and equipped to enhance supportive care which is currently the hallmark of treatment for COVID-19 patients, as there is no specific treatment for the virus to date.
The Dr John Garang Infectious Diseases Unit was opened on 20 December 2018 as part of the national emergency preparedness and response efforts to intensify preparedness in response to an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The facility was constructed by WHO in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.
The Unit also serves as a training and simulation facility to build national capacity in management of infectious diseases.
The COVID-19 response is funded by the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, the People's Republic of China, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and EU Humanitarian Aid.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO).