Report

Sudan’s COVID-19 Response and Challenges

The Vaccine is Safe and Has been Approved by World Health Organisation (WHO)

Haffiya Abdalla

While the World Health Organization had issued treatment guidelines, adopted by the Ministry of Health, the lack of public awareness and confidence led many patients to use traditional local herbal medicines.

The priority target groups for vaccination are healthcare workers at all levels of the health service, persons aged 60 years and more, and patients with comorbidities aged 45 years and over. Currently, there is no time frame for the expansion of vaccine eligibility to those younger than 60. To facilitate this, more vaccine supply is desperately needed.

The Director of the Department of Health Promotion in Khartoum State, Salah El-Din Hassan Haj Musa, stressed the importance of taking the Corona vaccine due to its effectiveness in reducing the severity of symptoms in the event of infection with the disease.

Haj Musa said yesterday during the media forum, which was organized in cooperation with UNICEF and the Ministry of Information Department, and it targets media professionals to clarify the Corona pandemic and its effects, to contribute to raising awareness and communicating information to citizens. He appealed to citizens to take vaccinations through health centers and mobile teams.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and has been approved by World Health Organisation (WHO)”, he added.

UNICEF was and remains a critical actor in Sudan’s Covid-19 response. UNICEF’s contribution towards the finalization of the National Vaccine Deployment Plan, can not be overlooked.

UNICEF worked closely with the Ministry of Health, World Health Organisation, and other key stakeholders in all the technical working groups to ensure the country was ready to receive the vaccines and roll them out too.

To support country readiness, UNICEF was at the forefront to ensure all eligible persons were registered; the national cold chain system functional; risk communication and engagement activities were ongoing; awareness creation drives in place to support the uptake of the vaccine but above all, we supported the procurement of the vaccines, syringes and safety boxes.

UNICEF’s strong advocacy efforts also ensured Sudan was prioritized as the first country in the MENA region to receive the vaccines.

UNICEF will continue working closely with the Government and partners to ensure that Sudan gets additional vaccine allocations that will support the planned vaccination campaign.

According to WHO is supporting the COVID-19 response plan in Sudan in all the 10 pillars but focusing mainly on surveillance, contact tracing, supporting Rapid Response Teams, expanding laboratory capacity, case management, infection prevention, and control and protecting the health workers by providing personal protective equipment (PPE), risk communication and community engagement, as well as the rollout of COVID-19 vaccination.

In addition to the immediate support of the emergency response, WHO is assisting Sudan in building a resilient health system. A high-level mission visited Sudan in April 2021 followed by another mission of international health system experts in September but due to the current situation in the country, the implementation of the recommendations is unfortunately very slow.

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