WHO launches anti-cholera drive in conflict-torn S.Sudan

February 22, 2014

The World Health Organisation began a campaign on Saturday to prevent outbreaks of cholera in temporary camps in South Sudan housing thousands of people who have fled the country's brutal two-month-old conflict.

The first phase will see around 94,000 people vaccinated against the disease in Minkaman camp in Awerial county, followed by 43,000 in camps around the capital Juba.

"Although currently there is not a , people displaced by the recent conflict and living in the camps are at risk due to poor sanitary conditions and overcrowding," the WHO said in a statement.

The programme is being carried out in coordination with the South Sudanese government, with the help of the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and UNICEF.

"Minkaman camp and Juba camp have been selected because of the relative stability of the situation and easier access in those places," said Dr Abdinasir Abubakar of the WHO's and response team.

"We are also looking at other camps, and once the accessibility and security improves, we will expand the vaccination campaigns into these areas."

South Sudan has been embroiled in a bloody conflict since December 15, 2013 pitting troops loyal to President Salva Kiir against rebels linked to his sacked vice president Riek Machar.

The unrest in the world's newest nation has killed thousands of people and displaced close to 900,000, including tens of thousands who have crammed into UN bases in fear of ethnic attacks by either Kiir's Dinka tribe or Machar's Nuer.

Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by eating contaminated food or water, with children facing a particularly high risk of infection. It can kill in a matter of hours due to rapid dehydration.

The disease, which often breaks out around natural disasters or conflicts, affects between three million and five million people per year, with up to 120,000 dying from the disease.

Explore further: UN warns risk of hepatitis E in S. Sudan grows

Related Stories

UN warns risk of hepatitis E in S. Sudan grows

February 15, 2013
(AP)—The United Nations says an outbreak of hepatitis E has killed 111 refugees in camps in South Sudan since July, and has become endemic in the region.

Pioneering use of oral cholera vaccine during outbreak

October 17, 2013
In a report publishing October 17th, 2013 in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and its scientific research arm, ...

UN sounds alarm on South Sudan hepatitis E outbreak

November 9, 2012
The UN's refugee agency warned Friday that an outbreak of hepatitis E among refugees in South Sudan was worsening and that it did not have the needed funds to contain it.

Cholera kills 50 in northern Nigeria in a week

October 21, 2013
Cholera has killed 50 people in northwest Nigeria in the past week, health officials said Monday, in the latest outbreak of the disease which has claimed thousands of lives across the country since 2010.

UN warns of surge in Haiti cholera deaths

January 22, 2014
A United Nations envoy warned Wednesday that cholera deaths in Haiti will surge and spread to other countries unless more funds are found to battle the epidemic.

Cholera outbreak in Guinea worsens

August 9, 2012
An outbreak of cholera in Guinea has killed 60 people since February and is showing no signs of letting up, the country's health ministry said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Google searches can be used to track dengue in underdeveloped countries

July 20, 2017
An analytical tool that combines Google search data with government-provided clinical data can quickly and accurately track dengue fever in less-developed countries, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

MRSA emerged years before methicillin was even discovered

July 19, 2017
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) emerged long before the introduction of the antibiotic methicillin into clinical practice, according to a study published in the open access journal Genome Biology. It was ...

New test distinguishes Zika from similar viral infections

July 18, 2017
A new test is the best-to-date in differentiating Zika virus infections from infections caused by similar viruses. The antibody-based assay, developed by researchers at UC Berkeley and Humabs BioMed, a private biotechnology ...

'Superbugs' study reveals complex picture of E. coli bloodstream infections

July 18, 2017
The first large-scale genetic study of Escherichia coli (E. coli) cultured from patients with bloodstream infections in England showed that drug resistant 'superbugs' are not always out-competing other strains. Research by ...

Ebola virus can persist in monkeys that survived disease, even after symptoms disappear

July 17, 2017
Ebola virus infection can be detected in rhesus monkeys that survive the disease and no longer show symptoms, according to research published by Army scientists in today's online edition of the journal Nature Microbiology. ...

Mountain gorillas have herpes virus similar to that found in humans

July 13, 2017
Scientists from the University of California, Davis, have detected a herpes virus in wild mountain gorillas that is very similar to the Epstein-Barr virus in humans, according to a study published today in the journal Scientific ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.