Ministry shows concern over misuse of toll-free number 6666

Ministry shows concern over misuse of toll-free number 6666

The Ministry of Health has raised concerns over the misuse of toll-free number 6666 for the COVID-19 emergency response by some individuals in the public.

The manager for emergency on COVID-19, Thon De Thon, said some individuals often insult the care service officer after their calls are received.

He said the call centre is managed by female workers who he said often receive a lot of abusive words from the callers.

“There are some people especially the young boys calling the number without any reason. If they find that it is the voice of a lady they start to talk nonsense to that lady instead of reporting COVID-19,” Dr Thon said.

He made the concerns on Saturday during a one-day workshop on the COVID-19 dissemination training to the journalists in Juba.

Elizabeth Novella, Representative of South Sudan Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM), urged the public to abide by the measures provided by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation.

She said the CCM has received $25 million for COVID-19 and malaria of which $2.2 million is meant for the support for the mitigation of malaria.

“South Sudan again through CCM awarded $2 million three days ago and any fund we have received people have to be aware of it. The one we have received for COVID-19 and malaria,” Novella said.

The South Sudan Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) is the national multi-sectoral body responsible for developing and overseeing grant proposals, nominating Principal Recipients (PR), and providing oversight of grant implementation and closure for all grants financed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

In August 2021, the government through the Ministry of Health had proposed to change the 6666 COVID-19 toll-free number over societal concerns that the number is synonymous with the infamous biblical 666 attributed to the ‘Illuminati’.

Officials from Public Health Emergency Preparedness said that many people have been hesitant to call the number despite exhibiting COVID-19-like symptoms.