Press Release: Sharp rise in suspected cholera cases in South Sudan (21.07.2016)
The Juba Teaching Hospital reported that 69 new suspected cases were admitted on Wednesday, bringing the total number of people being treated in the capital to 112.
JUBA, South Sudan, July 21, 2016 – Amid a rise in the number of suspected cases of cholera in South Sudan, UNICEF is rapidly increasing its response activities.
The Juba Teaching Hospital reported that 69 new suspected cases were admitted on Wednesday, bringing the total number of people being treated in the capital to 112. An additional 29 suspected cases had been reported in Duk Island in Jonglei state. Nationwide, there are now 141 suspected cholera cases with six reported deaths.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and partner agencies, UNICEF is providing medical supplies, sanitation services and community awareness.
“A fast and coordinated response is key to preventing a cholera outbreak,” said Mahimbo Mdoe, UNICEF’s Representative in South Sudan. “That’s underway, despite the fact that life in Juba was completely brought to a standstill for days by the recent violence and many humanitarian organizations have since evacuated staff.”
UNICEF and partners are providing medicines, intravenous drips and other items used to treat the illness. Three triage tents have been erected to serve as additional wards should the number of cases continue to increase. Chlorine has been provided for use in the handwashing stations put in place in the isolation unit. Elsewhere in Juba, five oral rehydration points have been established where people who feel ill can receive rehydration solutions and be referred to a clinic.
Community mobilizers are working to prevent further infections by educating the public on measures they can take to keep themselves safe, such as drinking only safe water and eating cooked food.
At the UN protection of civilians site – where thousands continue to shelter following the fighting that erupted in Juba nearly two weeks ago – daily water supplies continue to be provided, despite initial challenges of access. The water is then treated with chlorine.
Cases of cholera across the country remain unconfirmed due to a critical lack of the laboratory equipment needed to obtain a diagnosis, which humanitarian organizations are working to address.