April 4, 2017 (BOR) – Cholera has claimed at least 64 lives in Jonglei, leaving over 128 people in the health care facilities in the county of Duk.
- 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 state minister of health, Angok Kuol told Sudan Tribune that the disease had affected communities living in the islands of Duk, where their hygiene and sanitation were low. Duk county, located about 150 km from the state capital, Bor has internally displaced persons from neighbouring states of Lou Nuer and there are fears that the disease may spread to many villages.
“The death cases are about 64 and the number of people who are sick, are about 128. You know very well that cholera is of poor hygiene, and people in the swamp drink the same water, bath in the same water and sometimes even defecate in the same water," said the minister
"It is a challenge when you are in those islands. These are islands where you cannot dig a borehole,” he added.
Cholera spread through drinking of contaminated water and eating of unclean food infected with Cholerae bacteria. The disease is common in South Sudan where only third of the population has access to clean drinking water in towns. There are barely clean water points in villages and people drink from the same source with cattle.
The cholera outbreak started in Jonglei earlier this year and spread to other parts of the state, especially in the densely populated islands.
Many of the patients were taken to health facilities for treatment in the mainland.
“97 People were admitted into health facilities in Duk on Monday evening, 22 died and 65 are recovering in the facilities, awaiting their discharge, Kuol said.
A cholera intervention in these areas has been made difficult by inaccessibility, and the inability to provide a source of clean drinking water.
Authorities in Jonglei state are calling out for support from any health partners to aid them in managing the health crisis.