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Professor Helen Rees chairs Republic of South Sudan’s National Health Summit

- Wits Communications

Wits Professor Helen Rees chaired the third National Health Summit hosted by the Ministry of Health of South Sudan.

Rees is Founder and Executive Director of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (Wits RHI) and Chairperson of the WHO'S Africa Regional Immunisation Technical Advisory Group.

More than 500 delegates attended the third National Health Summit. Delegates included representatives from donor agencies, international and national non-governmental organisations, the private sector, academia, and civil society. The theme of the Summit was "Harnessing strong partnerships for a resilient health system towards attainment of Universal Health Coverage."

The Summit fostered a broad range of fervent discussions on numerous key health topics for South Sudan, including financing, human resources, communicable and non-communicable diseases, humanitarian responses, pharmaceutical policies, maternal and child health, immunization, reproductive health and partnerships.

“This Summit opened everyone’s eyes to the many complex interwoven challenges of building an effective health system in South Sudan,” said Rees. “Dialogues were very open, and at times heated, I think because everyone who participated cares about the health and well-being of the people of South Sudan. Now is the time to turn the talk into actions, and I believe we have set a clear path forward as laid out in the Summit’s Declaration and position papers.”

(L) Dr Makur Matur Koriom, Under Secretary Ministry of Health, South Sudan; Prof Helen Rees, Executive Director, Wits RHI; Dr Abdulmumini Usman, WHO Representative to Republic of South Sudan