Palais press notes on the health situation in South Sudan (19.07.2016)
Speaker: Fadéla Chaib, WHO Spokesperson
Date: 19 July 2016
In response to the crisis in South Sudan, WHO works with its partners to ensure that the population continues to access basic health services. The situation endured by displaced people, where inadequate access to water and sanitation services have resulted in poor living, hygiene and sanitation conditions resulting in threats of outbreaks.
One of these threats is an upsurge of reported cases of suspected cholera/ acute watery diarrhoea. The suspected cases are from Juba and Duk Counties in Central Equatoria and Jonglei States respectively.
WHO with other partners is currently responding by conducting active case search in the two communities where recent cases reside and had pre-positioned commodities and other supplies including tents, cholera kits that provides treatment for 400 people, cholera preparedness and response materials for health workers, laboratory reagents and Rapid Diagnostic Tests. WHO is expanding disease surveillance and laboratory investigation of suspect cases; providing support for the care and treatment of cases, and strengthening public health education and social mobilization.
The risk of further spread is a major concern. With the coming rains, it is realistic to expect an increase in malaria and water-borne diseases, so we can expect medical needs to rise in an environment where WHO and partners are already working hard to keep up with existing health needs.
An estimated 1.6 million people affected by the ongoing crisis needs help. WHO delivered lifesaving treatments and supplies including: trauma kits, body bags, IV fluids , iodine solutions and trauma kits. In addition, WHO is also shipping to Juba several kits of essential drugs and medical supplies. The supplies are expected to be in Juba early next week.
Under extremely difficult conditions, WHO and partners in South Sudan are also reaching families sheltering in schools, Churches and settlement areas across South Sudan with life-saving health care. Mobile medical teams are dispatched to reach people in many areas hardest hit by the ongoing conflict including Juba, Wau, Bentiu and Torit. Rapid assessments to monitor the health situation of the displaced people are to also be scaled up in Juba and the affected states.
More than a hundred WHO staff members remain in the country.
WHO is deploying an emergency logistician, information management and Public Health Officers to support the WHO and health partners respond to the crisis.
WHO requires a total of US$ 17.5 million for 2016 of which US$ 4.3 million has been received. This amount is likely to increase due to the recent conflict.
Fadéla Chaib WHO Spokesperson