Working in partnership ensures delivery of health services in South Sudan

Sections of Bentiu town submerged in flood waters
Sections of Bentiu town submerged in flood waters

Health Pooled Fund South Sudan 3 (HPF3) focuses on improving quality of clinical service by supporting and ensuring continuity of service delivery. This focus has achieved results through active partnerships with the Government of South Sudan, Ministry of Health (MoH), HPF3 implementing partners, and other health actors at state and national levels.

On 12 January 2022, HPF3 was invited to join a high-level government delegation to Bentiu as part of the National MoH flood assessment with various partners. Bentiu is part of Lot 20 under Cordaid, in Unity State, where HPF3 is implementing the delivery of integrated services through a network of health facilities. HPF3 is also delivering expanded community health services for the prevention and treatment of common conditions based on the Boma Health Initiative Guidelines together with strengthening management of the supply chain for essential drugs and commodities. These initiatives are anchored on ensuring stable, responsive and accountable health systems for the community. HPF3 is committed to funding and establishing processes that are efficient, effective, inclusive and value for money.

The delegation was headed by the Minister of Health, the Hon. Dr Elizabeth Achuei, who was accompanied by high-ranking government officials including Honourable Members of Parliament of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA). The minister and her delegation were received by the Acting Governor for Unity State. HPF3’s Health Systems Manager Dr David Wasambla, HPF3’s Project Support Officer Daniel Abok, and the Acting Country Director for Cordaid Andrew Ngugi also accompanied the minister to share with the delegation the key activities HPF3 is carrying out in the state.

In her remarks, the minister applauded HPF3’s and other partners’ efforts to support the government in delivering planned health outcomes, despite the harsh working conditions in the area. She commended HPF3 and Cordaid for meeting service delivery targets and providing sufficient funds that have ensured a consistent pipeline of supply and interventions in the area over a long period.

During the visit the Hon. Dr Achuei and her delegation visited the hospital drug store, where the minister experienced the challenges of the HPF3 supply chain first-hand. The HPF3 supply chain delivers to 807 facilities across eight states, three times a year. The range of products has been agreed with the MoH to ensure a basic standard of healthcare. The kit size varies in product range and quantities depending on the facility. In February 2022, HPF3 began distribution of Consignment 16. HPF3 purchases quality products from international suppliers using an open tender process. This is designed to achieve competitive pricing and ensure products have long shelf lives.

The minister underscored the importance of strong partnerships and collaboration to solve the inherent challenges in the health system, among them inadequately commodities for displaced populations due to the floods. The minister appealed for more support from the health partners as well as other stakeholders.

Dr David Wasambla gives his remarks during the briefing meeting in Bentiu
Dr David Wasambla gives his remarks during the briefing meeting in Bentiu

Dr Wasambla further reiterated the successes of working together. “The trip was a great success, clearly demonstrating the great collaboration between the Ministry of Health at national and subnational levels, Health Pooled Fund, the implementing partner Cordaid, and the UN,” he said.

The Hon. Dr Achuei added: “Our efforts as a government in improving the health of all people living in South Sudan can only be successful if we work with dedicated health partners who can complement the government efforts. I am personally inspired by the work HPF3 is doing in the region with its partners in supplying medicines consistently to the medical facilities in the region, among other services.”

This story has been adapted from its original publication on the Health Pooled Fund website.