Dr. John Rumunu (L), the Director of Preventive Health Services and his colleague during briefing on poliovirus outbreak last year (File photo)

South Sudan’s health workers resume work after a standoff

By Simon Deng

The frontline health care workers deployed at the Public Health Emergency Operation Centre in Juba have resumed work on June 1, after reaching consensus with South Sudan’s Health Ministry, according to an official. 

Dr. John Rumunu, the Director General for Preventive Health services said the group has now recommenced its daily activities after a week standoff. 

“Our colleagues were on strike however we had a meeting with them on May 31 to resume the work, and today some essential work has started. The call Centre is now working, there is a response and we will resume our daily updates today June 1,” he narrated to Juba Echo in an interview. 

On May 25, over 200 frontline health workers responding to coronavirus pandemic in Juba laid down their tools over government failure to pay their nine months arrears.

The group had threatened to resume work only if the government clears their dues.    

But, the health professional revealed that the arrears have not been paid but instead an agreement to pay them in the near future has been reached. 

“They have not received their money but consensus has been agreed upon. The Finance Ministry is just waiting for remittances from National Revenue Authority and once it is received, they will be paid,” he said. 

There is no issue because that is something which has been agreed upon by the National Taskforce and Finance Ministry, Rumunu added. 

In the related development, the health expert said the vaccination campaign for coronavirus has been ongoing well, revealing that at least over 8,000 people have received their jabs. 

According to Dr. Rumunu, the expansion would lead to consumption of many doses in the country hence building strong immune system for compliances.

As of May 26, South Sudan had confirmed 10,688 coronavirus cases. Out of the figure, 10, 514 were recoveries and 115 as fatalities.

However, the country has gone for a week without coronavirus updates.

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