Press Release: Sharp rise in suspected cholera cases in South Sudan (21.07.2016)

South Kordofan Sudan

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.

Letter from Journalists South Sudan ask permission to access the people of the PoC Sites in Juba! (20.07.2016)

South Sudan Letter 20.07.2016

President Salva Kiir insists more AU troops not welcome in Juba (Youtube-Clip)

“South Sudan has reaffirmed its rejection of a proposal by the African Union to send in additional troops to help stabilize the country. In an exclusive interview with CCTV Africa, President Salva Kiir said he had not been consulted on the matter and would not agree to more foreign troops being deployed in his country” (CCTV Africa, 2016).

Palais press notes on the health situation in South Sudan (19.07.2016)

South Sudan HRP 2016 Cover Page
South Sudan HRP 2016 Cover Page

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.

Funding:
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