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AFENET team meets S. Sudan CDC country director to discuss collaboration

A delegation from the AFENET Secretariat led by the Director Dr Simon Antara on March 28 held a meeting in Juba with the South Sudan US CDC’s Country Director Dr. Sudhir Bunga. 

The discussions centered on strengthening collaboration for the existing expanded program on immunization (EPI) capacity building project. The project aims at training health personnel specialized in managing EPI services at all levels of the health system, with higher acuity at central and frontline levels of immunization service delivery.  

A partnership with the Republic of South Sudan health ministry, US CDC, UNICEF, WHO, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has seen 100 EPI officers trained and are improving immunization services in the country including COVID-19 vaccination.  

AFENET with support from the US CDC is seeking to expand its scope of work in South Sudan, within its strategic priority areas, to support the health ministry to improve the country’s public health system. 

Having gained independence just over a decade ago, South Sudan is still building its health system. 

With technical and financial support from the US CDC, AFENET started its operations in South Sudan in 2010. However, discussions had been ongoing from 2007 with the Integrated Disease Surveillance Response (IDSR) support project whose goal was to provide technical support to the ministry of health in strengthening field epidemiology, communicable disease surveillance, and response to outbreaks. This partnership followed the adoption of the WHO/AFRO strategy for IDSR by South Sudan in June 2007. 

Dr. Antara was accompanied to the meeting which also discussed the country’s new FETP by technical staff including Dr Daniel Loguya – the EPI technical officer, Nicholas Ayebazibwe – the GID CoAg lead, and Dr. Hebert Kazoora - FETP technical lead. Others included the Head of Operations Mr. Tanui Christopher, the Head of Finance Ms. Agnes Kiggundu and Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Officer Mr. Humphrey Kabugo.