South Sudan health officials work to prevent cholera outbreak spread

Dibie Ike Michael with Reuters

Following a public alert of increased watery diarrhea issued by South Sudan’s Ministry of health this month, over 200 cases of the disease have been reported in the country so far.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO),Cholera is a type of acute watery diarrhea which kills fewer than 1 percent of sufferers if there is proper treatment with oral rehydration salts.

The International Organization for Migration explained that conditions in Juba, where fighting erupted on July 7 between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those loyal to his deputy, Riek Machar, are far from settlement.

“Following that issuance of that alert, WHO has managed to work with the Ministry of Health to confirm the actual occurrence of cholera. So since about the 4th of July to date, there have been 162 cases of cholera, 133 of those in Jubec State and 29 in Jonglei State, Duk County,” said Lincoln Charimari, a Health official with WHO.

According to agencies, Cholera cases happen normally during the rainy season.

A WHO update released on July 25 indicates that across the country about 271 cases have been reported and 14 people have succumbed to the disease.

A big cholera treatment centre has been set up in the capital’s main hospital,Juba Teaching Hospital to help tackle the outbreak.

“We have realized that residing in overcrowded and unhygienic conditions, such as we see here, is also a risk factor for the transmission of cholera. In situations such as these, it is very important to ensure that the water that is used is safe to ensure that both solid and liquids waste are properly disposed of,” added Lincoln Charimari.

South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011, descended into civil war after President Kiir fired Machar as vice president for the first time.

More than 10,000 people have been killed and some 2 million displaced.

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