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Health Latest News South Sudan

Surge In Covid-19 Prevalence Prompt Renewed Calls For Heightened Awareness Campaigns

Mar 1, 2021(Nyamilepedia) — A huge surge in the novel COVID-19 virus prevalence has prompted the health authorities in South Sudan’s Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) to call for massive awareness campaigns.

Members of the Murle tribe displaced by cattle raiding attacks are seen here in Pibor in South Sudan’s eastern Jonglei state, on Jan. 5, in a photo released by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (Photo credit: UNMISS)
Members of the Murle tribe displaced by cattle raiding attacks are seen here in Pibor in South Sudan’s eastern Jonglei state, on Jan. 5, in a photo released by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.

According to the area’s head of primary health care department, Dr. Abdelrobu Mohamed, the people around this region are ignorant of the deadly virus and the precautionary measures that can be taken against it.

“Across the country we are witnessing an upsurge in COVID-19 cases, and as South Sudanese, We have been travelling from states to states. For us in Pibor, people just go about their businesses as if there is no COVID-19 in the country. People do not know about the virus and its precautionary measures,” said Dr. Mohamed.

The doctor blamed the lack of campaigns on insufficient funds. He observed that the absence of equipment was conspicuously noticeable. 

He pointed out that not even screening equipment was available in the airport. In addition, machines to test Covid-19 samples are also not available. 

With this kind of situation on the ground Dr. Mohammed figured it is difficult for locals to believe that Covid-19 is real.

“In Pibor now, if you are to wear facemasks, people will laugh you off. Last month I raised concerns with the SPLM Party. I was given 500 facemasks which I took to Pibor and distributed to some locals, but everyone else threw theirs away,” Said Lokali Amae, a lawmaker representing Pibor in the GPAA legislative council.

Dr. Mohamed urged the government and aid agencies in the country to urgently provide material support for creating awareness of the pandemic. 

He observed that with the right equipment in place it would be easier to convince the general population of the harsh reality of the pandemic.

Joseph Aturuk, a resident of Pibor noted that they only heard of the virus over the radio and that no one had bothered to go to the people to educate them. 

“About face masks, we only see them in the mouths of aid agencies staffers but we do not know how they function,” he explained.

While contributing to the same, Simon Gain Korok another resident explained they were reluctant to observe the Covid-19 protocols citing the hardship.

Since the beginning of the year, South Sudan has been recording growing prevalence of the Novel Virus. By just last Friday the country recorded 84 new confirmed cases totaling up to 8010 cases since the first case was reported last year. 

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