Catholic Priest in South Sudan Urges Citizens to Take “preventive measures against Ebola”

Ebola epicentre with workers in Africa. Credit: EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations CC BY NC ND 2.0.

A member of the Clergy of South Sudan’s Yei Diocese, a territory that borders Uganda where dozens of cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) have been confirmed, has urged the people of God in the East-Central African country to take preventive measures against the virus that is known to cause severe bleeding, and organ failure that can eventually result in death.

Health authorities in South Sudan have intensified surveillance and screening at border entry points in order to detect any suspected EVD cases from neighboring Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), BBC News reported

A Wednesday, October 5 United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) report indicates that in Uganda, the cumulative EVD cases are at 61, 41 of them having been confirmed and 20 being probable.

The report of the UN body further indicates 28 EVD-related deaths, eight of these cases having been confirmed.  

In his homily on October 2 at Christ the King Cathedral of the Catholic Diocese of Yei, Fr. Sebastian Pololo said taking preventive measures will help curb the entry of EVD into Africa's youngest nation.


“I am advising our Christian community and others outside there to maintain preventive measures against the Ebola virus because it’s a deadly disease that can kill a person within a short time,” Fr. Pololo said.

He added, “If such deadly disease is reported in the country, we have to be very careful.”

“This is the disease that needs total prevention for us to be safe,” the South Sudanese Catholic Priest emphasized, adding, “I am telling our people that we should not ignore the disease incursion because it’s something that will attack us at any time like what is happening right now.”

In an October 3 report, the government of South Sudan is said to have partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) in sending “three samples out of five unconfirmed suspected cases” of EVD to South Africa for testing.

In the report, the Manager of South Sudan’s Public Health Emergency Operation Center, Mabior Kiir, is quoted as saying that the five suspected cases were detected in three South Sudanese States, that is, Eastern Equatoria, Western Equatoria, and Central Equatoria.

More in Africa

The Head of the WHO Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC), Alex Freeman, is said to have told journalists in Juba on October 2 that they had heightened the level of preparedness in view of detecting, isolating, and managing suspected cases of EVD, the October 3 report indicates.

In his October 2 homily, Fr. Pololo said he found it regrettable that suspected cases of EVD were adding to the numerous challenges the people of God in South Sudan are facing.

“Our country is experiencing the absence of genuine peace and natural disasters like floods. Now this deadly disease is approaching us,” he lamented.

The South Sudanese Catholic Priest who serves as Education Coordinator of Yei Diocese implored, “We pray that our people will be safe from this disease because it’s joining the other natural calamities that are already affecting people across the country.”

“It's high time all of us work together to fight this disease,” he further said. 


Fr. Pololo went on to caution leaders in South Sudan against side shows and discrimination. 

“Stop showing off because now is the time to protect our people during these difficult times,” the South Sudanese Catholic Priest said, and added, “The services rendered by the leaders should be equal because some of them are trying to segregate people when offering the services.”

Patrick Juma Wani is a South Sudanese journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. Patrick holds a Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication from Makerere Institute for Social Development (MISD) in Uganda. He has over 7 years of extensive experience in leading the development and implementation of media, advocacy, communication and multimedia strategy and operations, with an excellent track record of editorial leadership, budget management, and stakeholder outreach. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.