SOUTH SUDAN – The South Sudan Government has collaborated its health sector partners and stakeholders to conduct two rounds of oral cholera vaccination in Rubkona County, Unity State in January and March 2022 amid outbreak.

South Sudan’s Ministry of Health also deployed a rapid response team in Rubkona county to support the state-level response as well as to provide adequate medical supplies to aid in the investigation and treatment of cholera cases.

In addition, the health ministry has activated a national cholera taskforce at the onset of the outbreak to coordinate all response interventions as well as heighten surveillance in the Internal Displaced Persons camps and at community levels.

South Sudan has further collaborated with relevant partners to support ongoing cholera preparedness, prevention, vaccination drive and response training efforts to protect people and save lives.

The country declared an outbreak of cholera disease in Rubkona County following the confirmation of eight cholera cases from tests carried out at the National Public Health Laboratory in Juba.

The health ministry has reported a total of 31 cases so far presenting with watery diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration including two fatality reports from Rubkona town and Bentiu Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp.

Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by ingesting food or water contaminated with bacteria that affects both children and adults and if left untreated and it can kill within hours.

The disease can be prevented if community health structures are financially empowered to effectively perform their task of educating communities on matters of hygiene and sanitation particularly in flood-prone areas.

Subsequently, the government has urged the general public to observe all the precautionary measures to prevent community transmission in populations with inadequate access to safe drinking water, poor personal hygiene and inadequate access to improved sanitation facilities.

Some of the preventive measures outlined to contain the cholera outbreak include drinking and using water treated with chlorine or boiled for at least 1 minute.

The people of South Sudan have also been advised to wash their hands with soap and water after using the latrine as well as before handling and eating food.

They have been encouraged to properly cook food, keep meals well-covered, eat food when hot as well as to peel fruits and vegetables first and thoroughly wash them with clean water before eating them.

Additionally, they have been called upon to keep their environment at home clean and maintaining cleanliness in public places such as disposing liquid and solid waste safely.

Liked this article? Sign up to receive our regular email newsletters, focused on Africa and World’s healthcare industry, directly into your inbox. SUBSCRIBE HERE