Catholic Clinic in South Sudan Closed Down After All Doctors Test Positive for COVID-19

Flag of South Sudan
Credit: Public Domain

A Catholic Health Centre of South Sudan’s Wau Diocese has temporarily shut down after the three only doctors at the facility tested positive for COVID-19 and have been isolated to monitor their respective health conditions.

The Administrator of Sika Hadid Primary Health Centre, Sr. Bibiana Efimi, announced Wednesday, February 17 that the clinic will remain closed for over a fortnight depending on the recovery of the medical personnel.

“Our clinic is closed down because our doctors are under quarantine; they tested positive and they will be away for two weeks,” Sr. Bibiana confirmed to ACI Africa February 17.

She added, “After 14 days, the doctors will go for another test; if the test is okay then we will open, otherwise it will remain closed.”

According to the Indian-born Sister, the medical doctors at the Catholic health facility do not have a history of travel out of South Sudan since COVID-19 broke out around the globe.  

The leadership of the hospital in coordination with the Diocesan authorities have informed the government leaders in Western Bhar el Ghazal state to assist in providing the hospital with doctors to cover for their colleagues in isolation.

“At the moment, we don’t have doctors to work and we have to remain closed unless the government comes in to help us,” Sr. Bibiana said and added, “I informed the county authorities and if they help us, then there may be hope of reopening the facility soon.”

Meanwhile, the Health Coordinator for the Catholic Diocese of Wau, Dr. Jurel Payii Mamur reiterated Sr. Bibiana’s message, saying that the Centre will remain temporarily closed for about two weeks as the doctors go through their isolation period.

Dr. Mamur told ACI Africa that “The decision to close Sika Hadid Clinic came after the Church administration and the administration of the health care conducted a meeting and resolved to close down the Centre.”

“While the Doctors are under quarantine, the Centre will be under serious disinfection and sterilization for everybody’s safety,” the Health Coordinator said and urged citizens in the nine-year-old nation to continue implementing the preventive measures of COVID-19 for their own safety and that of others.

In South Sudan where the health care system is among the weakest in the world, the number of reported COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise.

As of February 17, the East-Central African country recorded at least 5,922 coronavirus cases, 79 related deaths and 3,876 recoveries.

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ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.

Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa
[email protected]