Home | News    Sunday 16 May 2010

Deadly cholera outbreak hits Northern Bahr el Ghazal

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

By Ngor Arol Garang

May 15, 2010 (WUNROK) — Peth Lou, one of the local administrative units situated east of Wanyjok, headquarters of Aweil East County, Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, is again on the verge of a severe cholera outbreak.

A file UNICEF picture shows casualties of a Cholera outbreak in the town of Yei, south Sudan. Peth is to the south of Malual Baai Payam where there is a health center reportedly run by International Rescue Committee , it is also to the East of Madhol and west of Tokyep village from where 10 people mostly children are reportedly caught by watery diarrhea.

The outbreak is entering its second week and shows little sign of slowing down. It has quickly spread into surrounding villages of Mabil, Dhok, Rumrit, and Baai chok, Wunyiik, Maluil, Majak, Warkou, Halkou and Riangkou, Marial Ngap, killing 2 people and infecting the entire village.

The village, located 20 miles from the main Aweil Civil Hospital, is home to over ten thousand residents. Health authorities say the disease first struck towards the end of April last year, killing three people at a go before its confirmation by the local ministry of health.

It is believed another 21 villages surrounding Ameth Lou, east of Malual Baai Payam, have also registered cholera cases in the last one week with records showing that 12 suspected patients were admitted at Malual health center before being discharged Tuesday.

Some of the villages that are worst hit in Ameth include; Wunyor, Warapac, Mayom, Akong, Akuac and Majak Paluiel. Mathiangdit and Areng have also been reported to have the highest number of infections.

Garang Baak Chol, a resident of Ameth village who came to Aweil town seeking medical intervention from heath authorities, attributes the outbreak to lack of clean water for human consumption.

"Our two boreholes in Ameth drilled by IRC (referring to an International Rescue Committee which is running number of health units in the area) broke down a year ago. Since then, we have never had clean water," he said. "We resumed drinking from unprotected hand dug wells. Water from these wells is unsafe and is the source of diarrhea, I experienced it myself," he said.

Garang who said trained by IRC as a village health volunteer adds that cholera could also be due to people defecating in the dry shallow water source bed since most of them lack pit-latrines. "When it rains, the water carries the waste to the sources situated on most drinking sources as it roams through the villages," he said.

Akot Majok Aguek, a certificated community health worker in the area equally caught up with Sudan Tribune from Aweil town and said that outbreak is due to lack of safe areas of waste disposal. Many villages do not have pit-latrines around their settlements

Spread by water contaminated with human excrement, cholera is a result of not having safe water to drink and sanitation systems to dispose of waste away from the water sources, he explained adding that government has just learned this outbreak and is mobilizing international organizations for quick intervention.

"We have just received information of increased cases of watery diarrhea from Aweil East County health authorities in the two villages of Peth and Ameth with surroundings," Akot said. "We are mobilizing response to this worrying situation, but we continue to face numerous challenges," he further said.

There is shortage of cholera kits and other essential medical supplies particularly oral dehydration salts, antibiotics and gloves.

Aweil hospital is empty. It has nothing for emergency inside itself let alone outreach supplies.

"This is why we have resorted to mobilizing international organizations working in the field of health such as IRC, MSF-France, Tear fund and other community based health organizations," he said.

He adds that cholera could spread quickly due to the regular movement of a highly nomadic population and unprotected water sources which are in the interior and inaccessible. "Cholera may spread to the other surrounding villages if authorities do not take preventative steps to sensitize residents," he warned.

Majok also cites inadequate beds and supplies for patients and limited skilled human resource as some of the hurdles the hospital is facing in the fight against the epidemic.

He says interventions remain localized in town. There is need for preparedness in the peripheral health units to avert possible negative outcome from emergency, he said appealing to the Government for more funding in order to fight the outbreak.

In an email to Sudan Tribune to Sudan from Aweil town, Santino Mayen, a clinical officer in the state government explained the cause as an infection in the intestines and can kill in hours.

He said signs and symptoms of cholera victims include severe diarrhea which manifests in as little as two hours or up to five days after infection. This can lead to extreme dehydration and kidney failure.

About 80% of the people infected with the cholera bacterium never develop symptoms. However, the bacterium stays in their faecal matter for seven to 14 days, leaving others at risk of infection. Of those who develop symptoms, 80% are mild to moderate while between 10% and 20% develop diarrhea.

If left untreated, about 50% of cholera cases can be fatal, he explained. Prevention and treatment of most cases (80%) can be treated through oral dehydration salts. These salts reverse dehydration and restore potassium levels following the onset of acute diarrhea.

The most severe cases, in which the patient is extremely dehydrated, can be treated through intravenous fluids and antibiotics, he adds He continued to say provision of safe water and sanitation services, community outreach and awareness campaigns that stress the importance of personal hygiene, especially hand-washing, are essential in curbing cholera.

Always focus on the underlying causes of water and sanitation-related deaths, like water availability, water quality, waste management and community hygiene education, to best protect at-risk populations from cholera and similar illnesses, he explained.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 16 May 2010 04:15, by Mr Famous Big_Logic_Boy

    This is the lifestyle the people of South Sudan deserve to live, shame on greedy and selfish of GOSS toward the people of South. Southerns has never and will never enjoy peace and better lifestyle under the management of Hyenas.

    repondre message

Comment on this article


 
 

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Referenda in Scotland and South Sudan told a tale of two cities 2014-09-21 06:01:02 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman September 20, 2014 - This article comes against the backdrop of the referendum in Scotland and southern Sudan in the years 2014 and 2011, respectively, and the result was (...)

Undermining South Sudanese expertise’s is ironical! 2014-09-19 10:15:59 By Peter Gai Manyuon September 18, 2014 - The recent order from the Ministry of Labor and Public Service in the Republic of South Sudan that was issued on 16th of September 2014 is absolute (...)

Sudan - Colliding interests 2014-09-16 10:04:11 By Mohamed Elshabik September 15, 2014 - Sudan seems to be unconcerned by the current political crisis in the region. Amid a prognosis of full-scale war in South Sudan, unrest in Egypt, chaos in (...)


MORE








Latest Press Releases


Sudan Democracy First Group: Art as resistance – art as resilience 2014-09-09 12:34:15 Sudan Democracy First Group Art as Resistance – Art as Resilience September 8, 2014 - To mark the third anniversary of the resumption of civil war in Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan, (...)

Sudan: Those behind unlawful killings and torture of protesters must be brought to justice 2014-09-03 13:13:43 Amnesty International Sudan: Those behind unlawful killings and torture of protesters must be brought to justice The brutal suppression of protest in Sudan must end, and members of the security (...)

National Dialogue in Sudan: Past experiences and current challenges 2014-08-27 06:18:22 Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG) Since independence, Sudan has undergone a number of national peace agreements, some of which were observed and honored for short periods, others which were (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2014 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.