May 18, 14 (BOR) – At least three people are reported to have died from cholera in South Sudan’s Jonglei state after an outbreak of the waterborne disease in the Nyuak and Kongor areas of Twic East county.
- A woman is given a cholera vaccine at a medical camp run by the humanitarian organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres in Minkamman, in South Sudan’s Lakes state (Photo: Getty Images)
The commissioner of Twic East county, Dau Akoi, said the disease has hit two populated payams (districts of Nyuak and Kongor, including the county headquarters of Panyagoor.
“There is [a] cholera outbreak in Twic East county now. Three people died and 17 others are now admitted” to hospital, said Akoi in Bor on Sunday.
A team of medical doctors will be sent to Twic East to investigate the suspected cases of cholera, he said. It is not clear when the team will leave the state capital, Bor, for Twic East county.
South Sudan’s ministry of health said last week that one person died from cholera in Juba, following an outbreak in the South Sudanese capital where there have been 18 suspected cases reported.
Oxfam said the source of the disease is not yet known. It is currently working together with other aid agencies to respond to the outbreak and prevent the spread of the highly contagious disease.
It says a cargo of supplies was due to arrive in the capital on Sunday. the agency plans to construct latrines, treat water, distribute buckets, mobilise garbage collection and conduct public education campaigns on good hygiene practices to vulnerable communities.
“With a quick response, it is hoped that the outbreak can be contained,” Oxfam said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune last week.
“This outbreak highlights the squalid living conditions of many South Sudanese particularly in urban areas, and the scale of public health risk this poses. It also demonstrates how urgently funds are needed to respond to increasingly dire humanitarian situation in South Sudan,” the statement adds.
Cholera is contracted through the ingestion of contaminated food and water and generally spreads in places with poor hygiene and sanitation.
Symptoms include severe diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, muscle cramps and dehydration.
Ongoing conflict in South Sudan has forced thousands of displaced people to seek refuge at overcrowded UN bases across the country, placing an enormous strain on already limited water and sanitation facilities.
Only 6% of people in South Sudan currently have access to latrines and safe drinking water is also lacking.