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Sudan, WHO join forces to fight viral hepatitis

South Sudan and the World Health Organization (WHO) today launched a four-year national strategic plan to combat viral hepatitis disease.

Elizabeth Achuei Yol, Minister of Health, said that implementation of the new strategy will reduce transmission of the highly contagious disease, improve health outcomes, and contribute to attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030.

"The national strategic plan on viral hepatitis in South Sudan (2020-2024) is the first national health sector strategy on viral hepatitis. The strategy contributes to the achievement of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development," Yol said in Juba.

She said that South Sudan has an estimated one million people infected and 250,000 infected with Hepatitis B and hepatitis C respectively, adding that 20 to 30 percent of those who become chronically infected with Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) could develop fatal liver ailments.

Yol said that the key objective of the strategic plan is to provide a coordinated, systematic approach of reducing mortality and morbidity due to viral hepatitis disease, Xinhua news agency reported.

"I therefore urge all sectors of government, implementing partners and the donor community to utilize the plan for the betterment of the health of the people of South Sudan, "added Yol.

Olushayo Olu, WHO Representative for South Sudan, said multilateral agencies will rally behind efforts to establish resilient health systems in the country amid resurgence of infectious diseases..