SOUTH SUDAN – The Republic of South Sudan has formally released a new five-year strategy dubbed the 2022 Pharmaceutical Policy and Strategy that provides an overall framework for governance, regulation and programming within the health sector.
South Sudan’s Pharmaceutical Policy and Strategy was developed by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) to strengthen the pharmaceutical sector in the country.
WHO South Sudan Country Office announced that the highly-anticipated 5-year strategy lays the foundation for building systems for sustainable access to pharmaceuticals and related health technologies.
In addition, the 2022 Pharmaceutical Policy and Strategy will promote sustainable and equitable access to medicines in line with the core mandate of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of South Sudan while promoting equity and sustainability of the pharmaceutical sector.
The policy also sets the standards for the safe, modern practice of pharmacy in while building community confidence and providing high quality, innovative services for patients that enhance patient care and public health.
According to the World Health Organization, the Pharmacy Strategy is a 5 -year plan that is aligned with the Health Sector Strategic Plan.
The WHO Country office further said that the new plan prioritizes the medium- to long-term goals and strategies set by the government for the pharmaceutical sector, noting that access to medicines is a critical component of healthcare delivery system.
The health agency noted that in the WHO African Region, it is estimated that about 58% of the population do not have access to medicines for non-communicable diseases.
The agency reiterated that WHO is committed to support the Ministry of Health to enhance access to medicines as part of the efforts to build resilient health systems and achieving Universal Health Coverage and the health-related Sustainable Development Goals.
“In South Sudan, access to essential medicines is a huge challenge. According to the 2018 Service Availability and Readiness Assessment Report, only 14% of health facilities had the recommended medicines,” WHO highlights.
During the launching ceremony, the Undersecretary at the Ministry of Health South Sudan Dr. Victoria Anib Majur said that Universal Health Coverage can’t be achieved without access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines.
Dr. Victoria Anib Majur emphasized that it’s important to have a strong regulatory body that will ensure the Ministry of Health authorities are regulating the medicines coming to the country.
She further said that as much as the country is developing strategies and policies, implementation is more important while urging the Directorate to form a committee to implement the strategy.
Furthermore, Dr. Victoria lauded WHO’s continued support in developing policies and strategies for effective healthcare services.
WHO South Sudan Country Representative Dr Fabian Ndenzako observed that access to medicines is a human right issue while acknowledging the generous contribution of the Canadian Government.
“Thanks to the generous contribution of the Canadian Government, WHO supported the Ministry of Health to develop the pharmacy policy and strategic plan for South Sudan,” Dr Fabian said.
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