Bakosoro demand transparency in Coronavirus funds
By Kitab A Unango
The Minister of Public Service, Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro said he was concerned over what he term “lack of transparency” in managing funds allocated for the fight against Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the government approved five million USD for the fight against coronavirus of which three million was allocated for foreign students.
The then High Level Taskforce had also received a funding of 100,000 United States Dollars from the African Union (AU) to fight the Virus.
In April, the United States Government gave South Sudan eight Million USD to fight COVID-19.
Bakosoro said despite the funding to the Taskforce, the Dr. John Garang Centre for Disease Control-the only one in the Country for testing the COVID-19-still lacked supplies to handle the COVID-19 crisis.
He added that the doctors who had sacrificed their lives to treat patients were not cared for or paid despite donations meant to fight the pandemic.
“There is lack of transparency in handling the pandemic. Misappropriation of the donation funds for pandemic too is inexcusable especially during this terrible catastrophe,” Bakosoro added.
“Money donated for COVID-19 should be used solely for that purpose and doctors sacrificing their lives to care for the sick be supported. We must save lives than losing lives. Government must be concerned for any life lost through negligence,” Bakosoro said.
He said the doctors were undermined and lacked the basic materials to carry out their work even though the Coronavirus cases were rapidly increasing daily.
“COVID-19 donations are not channeled towards its objectives,” he said.
Bakosoro lamented that hundreds of people were dying due to poor health care system in the country.
“It is very disturbing and sad to hear about hundreds of death of South Sudanese without proper Medicare or at least minimum health care during this pandemic. Several South Sudanese have died in the past month and are continuing to die while we care the less”.
“We are not sure whether they are dying from COVID-19 or other diseases since there are no proper records of diagnosis and seemingly collapsed health care system in the country,” he stated.
The minister called on the Taskforce to ensure transparent use of any donation and support health workers in the front line in fighting the pandemic.
He appealed to President Salva Kiir Mayardit to mandate the Taskforce with monitoring responsibility only and evaluate them to see whether they were technically informed.
He further pointed out that the country should develop domestic ways of fighting the virus instead of relying on foreign supports, saying COVID-19 would last longer than expected.
“South Sudan as a country must get out of dependency syndromes and invest in research. There are higher education institutions that could be used for research programs and South Sudan should make good use of such institutions to meet the global research needs. This is a testing moment of our time, hence we must accept that challenge,” Bakosoro stated.
As of Wednesday, the National Taskforce Committee confirmed 994 coronavirus cases with ten deaths and 6 recoveries.