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The World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday it is supporting South Sudan’s health ministry to strengthen comprehensive health promotion implementation to improve the health and wellbeing of the people.

WHO said in a statement released in Juba that it is developing the first ever comprehensive five-year Health Promotion Strategic Plan integrating all building blocks of health promotion to address the triple burden of disease.

The strategic plan, the UN agency said, includes prevention of communicable and noncommunicable diseases, promotion of maternal and child health, nutrition, and response to public health emergencies in South Sudan.

“Every dollar spent on health promotion, will yield positive returns of investment in 4 to 100 folds depending on the strategic options used to prevent illnesses and promote healthy behaviour, healthy communities and a healthy nation,” said Suvajee Good, Program Manager Health promotion and determinants of health in WHO’s Africa Regional Office.

Health Promotion is a process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve their health.

Implemented effectively, it can contribute to equitable healthy living that brings viable economic development and healthy environment, while tackling and mitigating diseases and risk factors.

WHO said the strategy is aligned with the National Health Policy (2016-2026), National Health Sector Strategic plan (2017-2022), the Boma Health Initiative strategy, Joint External Evaluation (2017) recommendations and other Global and Regional Health Promotion strategies.

“In an effort to foster preparedness, emergency response and resilience, WHO is committed to supporting capacity building and development of an all hazard risk communication operational plan and standard operating procedures for risk communication,” WHO said.

Good said health promotion is a cost-benefit intervention that provides a long-term return of investment given the effective approach to address the broad determinants of health.

According to the UN agency, health promotion is not only a responsibility of the health sector but also a social action and political commitment from all sectors.

Evans Liyosi, Acting WHO Representative to South Sudan said despite the prevailing challenges, South Sudan has the potential to implement comprehensive health promotion effectively.

“The Boma Health Initiative (BHI) provides a conducive platform and opportunity to fully embrace and implement health promotion interventions at community level that will contribute towards achieving the universal health coverage and health related Sustainable Development Goals,” Liyosi said.

The Boma Health Initiative launched by government in 2017 with technical and financial support from WHO, is a community anchored health system for sustainable health sector development. Enditem

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