Joint external evaluation of the international health regulations (2005) capacity in South Sudan: assessing the country´s capacity for health security

Pan Afr Med J. 2022 Jun 9;42(Suppl 1):7. doi: 10.11604/pamj.supp.2022.42.1.33842. eCollection 2022.

Abstract

Introduction: joint external evaluation is a voluntary and collaborative process to assess a country´s capacity under International Health Regulations (2005) to prevent, detect, and respond to public health threats. The main objective is to measure a country´s status in building the necessary capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats and establish a baseline measurement of capacities and capabilities. The Republic of South Sudan conducted the Joint External Evaluation from 16-20 October 2017, where its capacities were assessed to public health threats per the International Health Regulation (2005).

Methods: cross-sectional descriptive study of the Joint External Evaluation process and the findings are described along with major findings and recommendations for the country.

Results: South Sudan's overall mean score across 48 indicators was 1.5 (min= 1, max= 4) and 42/48 indicators (87.5%) scored < 2 on a 1 to 5 scale. Technical areas in the prevent category with the lowest score were antimicrobial resistance, biosafety and biosecurity, and National legislation, policy, and financing. In the detect category, the mean score was 2. Technical areas with the lowest mean scores were workforce development and the National Laboratory System. Preparedness, medical countermeasures, personnel deployment, linking public health, and security authorities had the lowest scores in the respond category. Chemical events, radiation emergencies, and points of entry had a score of 1 in the other IHR-related hazards and points of entry category.

Conclusion: South Sudan's mean score of 1.5 can be attributed to several civil conflicts experienced, which have impacted negatively on the health system. Recommendations from the Joint External Evaluation need to be implemented and these must be aligned with the costed National Action Plan for Health Security.

Keywords: International health regulation; South Sudan; health security; joint external evaluation.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • International Health Regulations*
  • Public Health
  • South Sudan
  • World Health Organization

Substances

  • Anti-Infective Agents