Late Dr. Louis Edward suffer homicidal death, the report indicates

The government has released its finding over a medical worker murdered in Panyijiar County, Unity State, by unidentified culprits at large. The forensic report was presented on Sunday by the undersecretary in the Ministry of Health.

Minister of Cabinet Affairs Dr. Elia Lomoro issued a statement stated that the report confirmed: “Dr. Lousi Edward died of homicidal death, citing reparative cuts at the neck, injured major blood vessels of the neck and sustenance of stab wounds to the arms indicating struggle injuries.” Juba Military hospital’s forensic report was presented to the government on Sunday last week.

Late Edward worked for International Rescue Committee –IRC was murdered on May 22 May this year. That forced the organization to suspend its operation in Ganyiel Payam of Panyijiar County temporarily.

An anonymous killing of Dr. Louis in Southern Unity received broader condemnation from the UN, youth, civil society, and government described it as “Heinous and inhumane.”

The national government has directed Unity state Governor Joseph Monytuil to deploy security forces to investigate and arrest culprits.

Minister of Cabinet Affairs also urged SPLM-IO to allow the legally appointed commissioner to take his duty and self-claims Commissioner Handover the area to state government.

In February, President appointed William Gatgiek Mabor as Panyijiar County commissioner under the SPLM-IO ticket. Since his appointment, he was never to the county due to controversies from the community. A former humanitarian worker Mr. Loat Gatluok was identified as a self-imposed county commissioner who is still performing the duty as commissioner.

The government said such controversy should end to allow a smooth implementation of the peace agreement. Authority apology to the health professions for not paying attention to their concern and appreciated them for ended the strike.

Healthcare Workers agreed to reconsider and ease their peaceful strike in what was described as “humanity ground” for all South Sudanese. The medical team said they resumed duties on June 13 June, 2021.

UN, Doctors’ Union, and youth condemn the killing of Dr. Louis

The UN humanitarians Coordinator in South Sudan, Alain Noudéhou, strongly condemns the brutal killing of an aid worker in Panyijiar County, describes it as a “horrific” attack against humanitarian.

Noudéhou says a humanitarian’s convoy, including an ambulance, was also attacked in a separate incident on the same day, a few kilometers away, in Koch county, Unity State.

 “I am appalled by this horrific news of another act of violence against humanitarians in South Sudan. The South Sudanese Doctor working for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) was killed inside a health facility in Ganyliel Payam. Almost at the same time, an IRC’s convoy, including an ambulance, carrying 10 aid workers was shot by unknown gunmen Koch,” said Mr. Noudéhou.

South Sudan Doctor’s Union and Youth of Panyijiar County have called for immediate accountability about the death of Dr. Louis Edward Saleh, working International Rescue Committee in Ganyiel Payam. 

According to numerous sources, Dr. Louis was reportedly murdered on Friday by an unknown group in Panyijiar headquarter. The cause of his death remained uncertain. 

Doctor’s Union was saddened criminal murdering of a medical facility saving lives in the remote village. They petitioned for speedy accountability of the culprit.

The medical fraternity was so disappointed in the state authority’s silence over an incident, which they said attitude ignored the repeated call for protection of health workers. 

Doctors were frustrated by brutal incidents. Allies claimed, “they will not tolerate violence against health workers at your watch.”

“SSDU will consult with all doctors, NGOs, and authorities on options to boycott or withdraw from any State or community that shows hostility towards medical professionals and to agree on new terms and conditions for deployment of health personnel to provide services at community levels.” Doctors stated. 

Diaspora group called Panyijiar Professional Association (PAPA) said they were deeply dismayed by the unfortunate death of a humanitarian worker who had been “treating and resuscitating the lives” of our vulnerable populace in this challenging time.

Youth who signed the statement include Kujiek Ruot Kuajien, Mwalimu Gabriel Mut Giel, Gat-kier Machar Tholpi, and Dak Buoth Riek-Gaak. 

They said on behalf of Panyijiar Professionals and workers in all fields. “We send our heartfelt condolences to his Family, Friends, Colleagues in IRC, and Panyijiar County as a whole.” 

“His passing is a profound loss to not only his family but also to the Panyijiar health sector and the globe, especially during this tough COVID-19 pandemic times.”

“We strongly urge the authorities in Panyijiar and Ganyliel in particular to investigate the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of this medical Doctor. Doing so appropriately will bar the associated guilt and ghost that might trouble Panyijiar in future and ultimately provide meaning to the deserved legacy of Dr. Louis.”

Panyijiar County Commissioner William Gatgiek Mabior said investigations underway, and govt will reveal the fact-finding triggered his death.

According to the UN, at least two aid workers were killed in South Sudan in 2021 and another nine in 2020. A total of 126 humanitarians, mostly South Sudanese, have lost their lives while providing critical assistance to people across the country since the conflict broke out in late 2013.

MSF dismissed seven staffs protested in Abyei

Medicine San Frontiers has dismissed its seven national teams from their jobs over demonstration. The dismissed persons believe to be the ring leaders who led the organization’s staff strike in Agok MSF hospital.

In February this year, MSF staff went on strike over contradictory letters from the office of national labor and national revenue authority.

The dismissal remains unclear because victims have not yet received a formal communication letter from the organization. They said MSF has submitted a sacking letter to the labor office and asks the group to get the letter in the office of labor and public service.

The controversy that occurred from the letter in the labor office indicates that the National Service Insurance Fund, NSIF has to be tax-free, and NRA stated that it should be TAXABLE which prompted the strike.

The Team leader for the sacked group, Mr. Daniel Reec Ador, questioned the dismissal procedure. He said the labor office has no direct roles in an issued letter to the accused staff.

The letter is supposed to be issued by MSF. He asked the organization to provide them with the dismissal letters or go to court.

“If the government is aware of the policy, then they will take back our dismissal letters to MSF and handed them over to us, and if they are not aware of the policy, then they continue keeping those letters. And this issue will take us to court to tell us if this is the right procedure,” he warned.

Abyei RRC officer Mr. Kuaja Yai Kuol clarified the organization had accused the workers of doing illegal strikes without notification, taking control of the hospital.

Kuol accredited that organization has carried the procedural dismissal based on the labor policy.

“We have seen all the procedures and are all correct. So, if anyone has a complaint, we can let him or her come to the labor office or go to court if he/she is not satisfied. So, this is it, either you go to court or come to the labor office”.

Last month, nine MSF committees were suspended indefinitely and warned to write an explanation letter to the MSF office indicating the reasons for the strike.

Machar vaccinated against COVID-19

South Sudan First Vice President vaccinated against COVID-19 on Wednesday, 7 April 2021.

Dr. Riek Machar takes the AstraZeneca vaccine’s first jab after Health Minister Elizebath Achuei was vaccinated at Juba Teaching Hospital on Tuesday.

He [Machar] became the first top government official of South Sudan from the Presidency to receive his jab.

Martin Gama Abucha, Executive of First Vice President’s office, said among the people vaccinated include Minister of Electricity and Dams, Hon. Peter Marcello, as well as several senior staff in the office of the First Vice President.

Dr. Machar also called the public to continue to observe preventive measures, including wearing the face mask and social distancing.

South Sudanese health workers have received a COVID-19 vaccinate rollout at Juba teaching hospital this week. The ministry of health launched the first coronavirus vaccine in partnership with World Health Organization.

The World Health Organization stated on Wednesday said it had formed an advisory committee on vaccine safety.

It stated the COVID-19 subcommittee had reviewed reports of rare cases of blood clots with low platelets following vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine (including Covishield) since their onset a few weeks ago.

The W.H.O vowed to monitor the rollout of all COVID-19 vaccines carefully and will continue to work closely with countries to manage potential risks and use science and data to drive response and recommendations.

Female inmates receive food and hygiene kits in Aweil

Around thirty female inmates at Aweil Main Prison have received a donation of food items and hygiene kits on Wednesday.

The Ghanaian peacekeepers at United Nations Mission in South Sudan donated the items on Wednesday.

Some of the hygiene items donated were face masks, handwashing facilities, Sanitary pads, Tissue papers, washing, and bathing soaps. They also food items included Packed Juices, Biscuits, and beans.

The donations reportedly aimed at helping the vulnerable and abandoned female prisoners on the International World Health Day, which is marked every 7th of April yearly.

Some of the female inmates who spoke to Akol Yam FM said that the donations would maintain proper hygiene and sanitation in police custody. They appreciated the support and called well-wishers for more help.

The first female inmate who requested anonymity expressed her happiness. “We are delighted today, at least we feel like the rest of the people living because we have been visited with donations, many family and friends have forgotten us, so we want to thank these foreigners that have cared for us”.

Another inmate Achol Marach said they have been in total lack of hygiene items in prison.

Derek Odame is the Civil-Military Company officer for the Ghanaians peacekeepers in Aweil, urged the public to avoid abandoning their relatives detained at the prisons.

“We know that many prisoners are abandoned globally, so we thought of the female inmates first as women are vulnerable. Despite being detained, we can imagine their situation. Our sisters decided to see them and support them with the little they have; It’s the world health day that is why we made hygiene kits available and many others.”

Aweil central prison in NBG state was built to accommodate only 150 inmates, but the number increase to over five hundred prisoners

Nearly 30 Health workers in Aweil abandoned work over unpaid wages

At least twenty-nine health workers at Light House COVID-19 Isolation Center in Northern Barh Ghazal have abandoned their works over demands of three months unpaid wages.

Staffs were reported threatening the authority over unpaid salaries two weeks ago to quit the work, but no health ministry implementation.

Slow response from the authority provoked health workers who declined to continue providing medical care for COVID-19 patients until the administration meet their demands.

Health worker Akok Piol says they refused work without pay because their families needed financial support.

“We were given three months contract from December to February, but up to now, we haven’t been paid. WHO says the ministry has not approved the payment, and they can’t pay us without authority approval? So, we have decided to abandon the work because we are not considered.” Akok stressed.

Another Health worker Paul Garang said they had tried many alternatives to get our incentives paid, but nothing has been done. And resort to halt the work, leave the COVID-19 patients alone at the Isolation Center.”

Registered nurse Mary Biem felt scared for the pandemic increase. Saying, staffs are afraid because they were unable to buy soaps to protect themselves from COVID-19 patients.”

Workers further accused the Undersecretary in the National Ministry of Health of not approving their World Health Organization payment.

In December, Light House Isolation Center management reported that World Health Organization had shifted-in to pay 29 health workers incentives for three months.

One of the top officials at the NBGs COVID-19 Taskforce acknowledged the worker’s strike but declined to comment.

Akol Yam calls Undersecretary in the National Ministry of Health but could not be reaching.

Earlier this month, the Taskforce extended nationwide partial lockdown for an additional month to curb the spread of coronavirus. The lockdown became effective on 3rd March until April 2021.

Egypt donated medical supplies to South Sudan

The government of Egypt has donated medical supplies to South Sudan. Egyptian Agency medical donation is part of humanitarian intervention to support vulnerable people who need aid assistance.

South Sudan Vice president Rebecca Garang received the medicine. Ambassador Dr.  Mohamed Kaddah, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Juba, delivered the first batch of medical donations on Wednesday.

Diplomat said delivery medicines aimed to alleviate the humanitarian’s suffering in the displaced people’s South Sudan centers.

The Egyptian ambassador to South Sudan said Egypt is standing by South Sudan in light of the humanitarian crisis. He enlightened that the Egyptian Agency’s rapid response on developmental associate was the formal appeal for assistance from South Sudan’s government.

Ambassador of Egypt appreciated vice president Rebecca Garang’s “tireless efforts to face the repercussions of the humanitarian crisis and her supervision of the distribution of the Egyptian aid to the affected people.”

In the statement extended to the radio community, Rebecca Garang was quoted voicing her gratitude for the Egyptian government’s speedy response to her country’s affected vulnerable people.

Mrs. Garang says, “Egypt is always on the frontline among the first countries to respond to their needs, and such positions reflect the strength eternal brotherly relations between the two countries.”

The embassy promised that the second batch of aid assistants is anticipated to arrive soon in South Sudan. They did not specify when the second batch shall arrive.

Egyptian says anticipated food supplies will reflect the spirit of solidarity between the two brotherly countries in the current humanitarian crisis, of which about 8 million South Sudanese citizens are affected.

Three hundred MSF staff strike over NSIF tax cut in Abyei.

More than three hundred Medicine San Frontiers’ staff in Abyei went on strike on Wednesday on the national social insurance tax cut.

An antagonistic strike occurred after staff received a document from the national labor office stipulating that they are to receive their salary indicating “TAX-FREE.”

According to the demonstrators, the National Revenue Authority, NRA, has implemented the policy taxing the national Social Insurance Fund (NSIF) after the staff contract ended with the organization.

The national staff viewed the new taxation policy as a day raiding strategy.

Daniel Reec Ador, head of protestors, said staffs would not go back to work till government, MSF office and teams on strike sit and find an amicable solution to the matter.”

Ador said their strike did not abandon people; the group has assigned some health personals to carryout medication in the hospital.

“We need to be convincing on the article that says that NSIF is subject to taxation. If we are shown the article, find, we don’t have any problem. We will receive this money and go back to work, but the labor office in Abyei should come and see what we can do and go back to work. This is after the government will tell us that it will follow the case.”

The field coordinator for Medicine San Frontiers, MSF, Mr. Ken Hagiwara declined to comment on the issue, which he said in the following interview.

“I cannot make any comment. Sorry sir, very sorry. I just am working on something, and I cannot comment on this. I cannot give you something, you know, some really, like unreliable information. I mean.”

The legal consultant and commissioner for Oath, Johnny Saverio Ayiik, says 58 of South Sudan Constitution National Revenue Authority can tax the payout National Social Insurance Fund. The reason is that NSIF is only taxed during the payout.

“That amount of eight percent which is deducted from each employee is not subjected to tax at the payment of the monthly salary because it is not yet an income into your pocket. So when you get it, and it comes to your pocket, this time now becomes income. Any income you received, that income is subjected to tax, and the government authority which is concerned and custodian of the implementation of the tax act is the national revenue authority.”

Saverio urges the protestors to avoid protesting against the employer but meet the National Revenue Authority as the concerned authority.

Yirol hospital shut down after health workers contracted COVID-19

Authorities Yirol West county in Lakes said they have closed county main hospital after 7 health workers contracted the virus on Monday.

Health workers were confirmed virus-positive during public, voluntary testing. The Yirol Hospital has indefinitely suspended its operation with immediate effects.

Medic said COVID-19 patients have been advised to stay at homes as the government works closely with partners to establish isolation centers.

Dr. Marial Chuir said 23 people were identified direct contacts with patients are traced, and their samples have been taken for lab analysis.

He explained the seven cases were detected within the sample of twenty-seven people who turn up for voluntarily testing on Friday last week.

According to Dr. Marial emergency department in the hospital is permitted to provide medical services in seven days.

“We want those without cases to maintain protected themselves not to be infected by the disease. We want everyone to observe preventive measures by keeping social distancing. The public gathering needs to be avoided and minimize hand shaking as now in Greater Lakes. We have listed several cases that make us reach over twenty-five confirm cases of coronavirus, which is the first time in Yirol to record cases.’’ Said Maria.

Medical doctors appealed to the citizens to follow health guidelines and avoid public gatherings to prevent contracting coronavirus.

South Sudan has recorded three thousand eight hundred and eighty-two cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began last year. The Government taskforce lifted the restriction on coronavirus despite the rising number of instances daily.

Animal disease outbreak killed livestock in Awerial. 

The cattle keepers in Lakes state’s Awerial County has expressed concern about losing their livestock following the outbreak of an animal disease known as East Coast Fever.

Deng Think is a cattle keeper in the area said has lost 15 cows and several animals from other community members dead of disease confirmed to be East Coast Fever at various villages, including Mingkaman. 

East Coast Fever is a lethal disease of cattle caused by the blood parasite and transmitted by the Brown Ear Tick.

He stated that cattle started showing signs of sickness in December, and the treatment they have administered to save the life of animals did not work better.

According to the cattle owner, the disease’s symptom includes cow to develop a high fever, nose mucus, loss of appetite.

Deng claimed to have lost a cow worth 400,000 SSP, and he appeals to veterinarians and partners to provide a sustainable drug that can treat the disease. It’s unclear how many cattle dead so far.

 ” I don’t really know what can help. We have been trying to treat them with the available drugs for animals, but it’s not working. We don’t understand why doctors are not bringing drugs for this disease.” Deng stated.

Director of the Animal department in Awerial County, James Chuti, has confirmed that fifteen cows have died so far and expects the number to go higher.

He urges pastoralists to keep animals free of ticks to minimize disease transmission through blood parasites as local authorities prepare their response.

“We have got the information about this disease and my office has received at least 15 cows death recorded but I did not yet get some data from many villages which host larger number of cows. so far, we are planning to see alternative ways to save the livestock life because the entire,e communities depend on cattle and if disease wipe them out, it can be a disaster to them” He said.

The veterinary expert said the vaccination campaign launched in November last year didn’t covered all areas due to the vaccine shortage.

James assured cattle owners that his office coordinates with the State head office to provide medicine that cures East Coast Fever.