Multiple Disease Outbreaks in South Sudan
12 Sep 2016
Ongoing conflict, poor socio-economic conditions, overcrowding, population displacement and weak health systems have exacerbated infectious disease outbreaks in South Sudan. The World Health Organisation (WHO) have released a report on infectious diseases that continue to pose a major public health threat.
On the 21 July 2016 cholera was confirmed in Juba; as of 6 September 2016, a total of 1762 cholera cases, including 26 deaths had been reported from five states: Juba, Terekeka, Jonglei, Eastern Lakes and Imatong.
In response, the WHO is working with partners to address the cholera outbreak; treating patients, health promotion campaigns including supply of water purification tablets, oral rehydration and soap.
Malaria cases started rising in early May 2016 and over 1.3 million malaria cases have been reported since the beginning of 2016. As of the 28 August 2016, 31 counties in 8 states had exceeded the malaria epidemic threshold countrywide.
In response WHO has supported airlifting of malaria medicines, commodities and malnutrition kits to Northern Bahr el Ghazal (one of the most affected states), and has donated malaria medicines and commodities to 6 other states.
Over 1600 measles cases, including at least 19 deaths have been reported countrywide since the beginning of 2016.
The WHO has responded to measles outbreaks in 12 counties; around 182 000 children have been vaccinated against measles since mid-2016. A follow-up campaign is planned for October 2016.
Leishmaniasis is a disease spread by sandflies which if left untreated can be fatal. In 2016, more than 1000 cases have been reported in South Sudan, this includes 42 deaths.
The WHO co-leads a taskforce that deploys rapid response teams to affected areas, trains health workers at treatment sites, and provides weekly analysis of data and deployment of supplies such as rapid diagnostic kits and medicines.
Advice for Travellers
Access information on cholera prevention via this link: Cholera
Access information on malaria prevention via this link: Malaria
Access information on measles prevention via this link: Measles
Access information on leishmaniasis prevention via this link: Leishmaniasis
Information and guidance for relief workers can be accessed via this link: Relief Workers