IGAD revived a joint group to address the health and economic implications of the COVID-19 outbreak along the Uganda-South Sudan border.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development – IGAD – has revived a joint group to address the health and socioeconomic consequences of the COVID-19 epidemic along the Uganda-South Sudan border.
The 10-member cross-border group, chosen during a meeting of the Nimule Town Council on Thursday, will include officials from immigration, customs, security, local governments, the Ministry of Health, and representatives of the business community from both Uganda and South Sudan.
The committee will be charged with strengthening cross-border COVID-19 monitoring and response, as well as ensuring prompt information exchange and referring sick travellers to health institutions for timely medicine and treatment.
According to Harriet Mayinja, the Uganda Ministry of Health’s National Point of Entry Focal Person, there are many public health risks that the cross-border committee would jointly reduce via communication and coordination, collaborative outbreak investigation, and efficient response.
The terms of the purpose of the committee, according to Dr. John Pasquale Rumunu, Director-General of Preventive Health Services at the Ministry of Health, are linked with South Sudan’s national COVID-19 plan to minimize the effect of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Dr Harriet Nabukwasi, the IGAD Secretariat’s Disease Surveillance Expert, adds that the committee’s reactivation would unify control measures and assist advocacy efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and other epidemic illnesses.
According to the authorities, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread interruptions in health care delivery and socioeconomic activity. Currently, over 216 million cases and 4.49 million fatalities have been recorded worldwide, but trends indicate that we are still a long way from reaching endemic levels.
In the aftermath of the impending third wave of the virus, the IGAD area recorded approximately 740, 511 cases and 16, 297 fatalities by the end of August 2021. Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda comprise the area.
Following the declaration of the Heads of State and the call for action issued by the Ministers of Health and Finance, the European Union responded by funding the IGAD regional response strategy with 60 million Euros (249.218 billion Shillings) to address the virus’s health and socioeconomic impacts.
The response plan in the IGAD area targets border communities, migrants and refugee host communities, internally displaced persons, and other mobile groups to relieve the humanitarian crises via long-term initiatives and reactions to acute catastrophes.