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Amref South Sudan launches new strategy

Amref South Sudan launches new strategy

Amref Health Africa in South Sudan has unveiled its ambitious new seven-year Strategic Plan 2023-2030, titled ‘Marching Forward, Leaving No One Behind’.

This plan aims to transform the health of the people of South Sudan, with a particular focus on women and children. The newly unveiled Strategic Plan aligns with the Republic of South Sudan government’s health agenda, contributing to Africa’s broader health goals.

The plan addresses the urgent need to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030 and tackles the increasing demand for public health security in response to emerging health threats. It also takes into account the demographic transition with a focus on the growing youth population, rapid urbanization, climate crisis, technology, political instability, and conflicts, all of which impact the country’s health systems.

Throughout the implementation of the plan, Amref Health Africa will prioritize five crosscutting issues: rapid urbanization, climate change crisis, public health emergencies, mental health, and the global and national policy context, with technology as an enabler. By addressing these drivers, Amref aims to find sustainable solutions to the challenges faced by the people of South Sudan.

The launch is taking place at a time when South Sudan is facing the triple burden of communicable diseases, neglected tropical diseases, non-communicable diseases, and conflict, positioning it among countries with the highest maternal and under-five mortality rates globally. Additionally, only 28% of the population had access to healthcare in 2017, highlighting the low public health indicators in the country. This notwithstanding, life expectancy at birth, maternal mortality ratio, and under-five mortality rate are at 58 years, 1,223 per 100,000 live births, and 92.6 per 1,000 live births, respectively.

While speaking at the event, Morrish Ojok, the Amref South Sudan Country Manager, said, “our strategic roadmap reflects our unwavering commitment to advancing health equity and sustainability in South Sudan and to reach more populations, particularly those that are remote or difficult to access.” “Ensuring that no one is left behind in our programming and execution is crucial for creating a fair and inclusive community,” he added.

Mr Ojok highlighted the importance of collaboration with various sectors and actors to achieve the objectives outlined in the strategic plan. “To achieve this plan, Amref Health Africa in South Sudan will collaborate with various sectors and actors such as government, healthcare providers, non-profit organizations, private sector, and community groups,” he noted.

Amref’s work in South Sudan aims to help the population achieve universal health coverage. This aligns with the policies and priorities of the government, which are outlined in various national health and development policies, including the South Sudan Vision 2040, the Revised National Development Strategy 2021-2024, the National Health Policy 2016-2026, and the National Health Sector Strategic Plan 2023-2027.

In a significant development, Amref Health Africa also inaugurated the Amref International University (AMIU) Virtual Learning Center (VLC). It announced the university’s girls’ scholarship program at the Maridi Health Science Institute. The university has introduced scholarship funding opportunities for students from marginalized settings. It establishes Virtual Learner Support Centers (VLCs) in selected countries, including South Sudan, where ICT infrastructure is limited. This initiative aligns with Agenda 2030 and the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063, which aims to address the gender inequality gap in accessing higher education.

Notably, the event was graced by the National Advisor for Community Special Programmes in South Sudan, Dr Samson Paul Baba, representing the National Minister of Health in South Sudan, Hon Yolanda Awel Deng Juach, among other key dignitaries.

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