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Photo Radio Tamazuj


The undersecretary in South Sudan's health ministry has announced that the Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccines will arrive in Wau, Western Bahr el Ghazal State State next week.

Professor Mayen Achiek, who is on an official visit to Wau to assess the health challenges and find solutions, said health workers and people with underlying medical conditions will be inoculated as a priority.

“We are hoping by next week, the Covid-19 vaccine should arrive here for our health care workers and these are so-called frontline against Covid-19,” Achiek said.

Achiek further said the first consignment of the vaccines will also serve Warrap and Northern Bahr el Ghazal states and advised those eligible to turn up for immunization although infection rates have dropped in recent days.

“We got a good report last Monday with the honorable minister, we got a good report of Covid-19. The rate is not as alarming as it was in February and that does not mean that we are going to sleep, we have to be vigilant,” Achiek pointed out.

According to Western Bahr el Ghazal health ministry, there are about 1,000 health workers to be vaccinated, although the number of vaccines the state will receive remains unclear. 

Some workers who spoke to Radio Tamazuj on their readiness for the vaccine said the vaccine is very important because it protects them from contracting the virus.

“We are glad that the first phase arrived in Juba and some of the frontline workers, our colleagues received at the hospitals in Juba and probably next week as announced by the undersecretary, I will receive. We are ready to be vaccinated,” said Dr. Natale Masmino Uchin of Wau Teaching Hospital.

 “If the vaccine reaches here, I will be the first person to receive it because it protects people as everyone knows," Veronica Lawrance, a clinical officer at the Wau Teaching Hospital said. 

South Sudan received the first batch of its 132,000 doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines from the COVAX facility, and another 60,000 doses donated by African Union (AU) through African Centre for Disease Control late last month. - Radio Tamazuj


KAMPALA, April 15 (Xinhua) -- Health officials in Uganda on Thursday said the east African country has renewed efforts to ensure health equity even among people in the most remote areas.

The country on Thursday was belatedly commemorating the World Health Day, which is globally marked on April 7 annually. The commemorations, which will last until Dec. 12, Universal Health Coverage Day, are held under the theme -- Health Equity - Building a Fairer and Healthier World.

Ruth Aceng, minister of Health, said ensuring health equity is one of the country's long-term strategies toward attaining Universal Health Coverage and hence achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Aceng said lack of health care equity is of increasing concern as countries transition to a situation of high infectious and non-communicable disease burdens.

In many African countries, including Uganda, there are substantial health care disparities with most health care resources located within urban centers, said Aceng. "This situation requires a robust Primary Health Care network to diagnose, treat, and monitor patients due to a long continuum of care."

UN Resident Coordinator in Uganda Rosa Malango said countries must now implement the commitments they made towards achieving universal health coverage, including increasing the share of the health budget to 15 percent of the total national budget. The health budget in Uganda only takes 5 percent of the national budget.

"We can build resilient health systems capable of ensuring that people obtain services when and where they need them," Malango said. "We can innovate and develop vaccines, health equipment and protective gear to increase access to care regardless of your location or status."

Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, the World Health Organization (WHO) country representative to Uganda, said the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has showed how critical it is to address health inequities.

"COVID-19 is just the latest example of why WHO is so focused on achieving Health for all. In WHO we know that it is important to create circumstances and social, economic and environmental conditions that allow people to fulfil their health potential," Woldemariam said. "People must be helped to overcome barriers that prevent them from accessing quality health services and to ensure that those services are available everywhere and to everyone."

Minister Aceng said over the years, government has continued to prioritize access to health care, noting that currently 86 percent of the country's population is now within a 5-km reach of either a public or private health facility.

"This is intended to bridge the gap of distance and access to health care as well as the economic opportunity costs associated with travel to the health facility," the minister said.

To reduce the high level of out-of-pocket health expenditure, the Ministry of Health has put in place a national health insurance scheme. According to the Ministry of Health data, out-of-pocket expenditure in Uganda is 40 percent, which is 25 percentage points higher than recommended WHO levels for out-of-pocket expenditures.

High out-of-pocket expenditure has led to a high incidence of catastrophic health spending among the poor in Uganda.

Aceng said the ministry has also revised the resource allocation formulae to enhance equity in the distribution of local government transfers across districts and health facilities.

Government has also continued to provide subsidies to private-not-for-profit health providers to lower user-fees, while health care is provided for free in the public health facilities since 2001.

The country has also upgraded over 200 Health Center IIs to Health Center IIIs in a bid to ensure that every sub-county has a health facility at the level of Health Center III. At Health Center III level, there are all forms of health care including maternity services.

Malango said the UN will continue to support Uganda to improve the health and well-being of its people through the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2021-2025 and the country's development programs. - Xinhua

Turkish President Receb Tayeb Ordogan (left) and South Sudanese president Salva Kiir Mayardit. Photo via Getty Images


JUBA – A Turkish charity on Wednesday distributed food aid packages among vulnerable South Sudanese in the capital Juba.

More than 500 families are going to benefit from the 430 food packages distributed by Turkish organization Ab-i Hayat during Ramadan, a Muslim holy month.

Handing over the food packages, Turkish Ambassador to South Sudan Erdem Mutaf said Islam is a religion of peace and voiced hope for everybody to be in peace during the holy Ramadan.

“This is a token of love and friendship from the Turkish people. We will continue supporting the people of South Sudan,” Mutaf said.

Abdallah Braj Rwal, head of the South Sudan Islamic Council, appreciated the Turkish government for its support to the people of South Sudan.

Katmala Ramadan Suleiman, one of the beneficiaries, thanked the Turkish government, saying: “This support is very important to us because it comes at a time when everything has become expensive in the country due to the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.” - Sudans Post

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