Programme areas - South Sudan

Dracunculiasis is infection with Dracunculus medinensis, a nematode worm, also known as Guinea worm. It is caused by drinking water containing water fleas (Cyclops species) that have ingested Dracunculus larvae.


WHO includes mental well-being in its definition of health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.

Evidence is emerging that positive mental health is associated with good physical health, meaningful long-term relationships, a sense of belonging, good education and being employed in a healthy working environment.


The programme in South Sudan is:

  • leading the health cluster
  • building the capacity of the Ministry of Health in disaster risk reduction
  • assisting in prepositioning of life-saving supplies
  • supporting advocacy and resource mobilization in collaboration with Ministry of Health and partners
  • strengthening secondary health care.
South Sudan experiences a wide variety of environmental problems, including soil degradation due to the widespread deforestation with consequent loss of biodiversity and wildlife habitats, pollution of rivers and the environmental due to oil drilling in the wetlands, over-exploitation of fisheries and conflicts over diminishing resources such as rangelands and water sources for livestock.


The programme focuses on improving access to primary health care and on environmental health, particularly the provision of clean drinking-water, vector control, solid waste removal, excreta disposal and promotion of a healthy environment in internally-displaced persons/refugee camps.

This area of work also includes nutrition, reproductive health, gender-based violence and mental health advocacy.

WHO supports the Ministry of Health in all the components of health system strengthening including:

  • human resources development through training within and outside South Sudan
  • capacity-building of the pharmaceutical department
  • policy formulation, planning and management
  • biomedical information
  • emergency humanitarian action
  • laboratory systems strengthening.


The programme provides strategic leadership for the national health sector response to HIV/AIDS. WHO provides technical support to the national HIV/AIDS programme to scale-up treatment, care and prevention services, as well as maintain and increase access to drugs and diagnostics, and acquisition of strategic information.


Under this programme area, WHO provides:

  • policy and technical support
  • equips the health system to detect, assess, respond and cope with epidemics and pandemic-prone diseases
  • develops, strengthens and maintains the capacity of the Ministry of Health to detect, report and respond to disease


This is currently the biggest programme of WHO in South Sudan. The programme supports vigorous outbreak responses through national immunization campaigns.

WHO will continue supporting the Ministry of Health to maintain the polio-free status of all ten States of South Sudan, while improving the coverage of measles immunization among children to contain the current outbreak.

In South Sudan, WHO supports:

  • strengthening the delivery of the basic package of health services
  • community-based initiatives
  • expansion of the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness
  • improvement of maternal and child health
  • prevention of blindness and eye care. 


WHO estimates the incidence of tuberculosis (TB) in South Sudan to be at 79 per 100 000 for new sputum smear positive TB and 140 per 100 000 for all forms of TB cases.


South Sudan