PRO/EAFR> Cholera – South Sudan (02): alert


A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date Thu 22 Jun 2023
Source: News Africa, a Xinhua net report [edited]

Displaced children on the South Sudanese side of the border with Sudan
are at risk of deadly cholera outbreaks due to flooding and lack of
adequate sewage systems, Save the Children, an international charity,
warned [Mon 19 Jun 2023].

The charity said displaced children and families continue to flock
into South Sudan daily from Sudan, fleeing violence and instability
due to power struggle. “People are dying in these transit centers and
resettlement camps due to lack of access to medical care and exposure
to the elements. With the start of the rainy season, facilities are
reaching breaking point,” said Muzamil Sebi, Save the Children’s
director of Advocacy, Campaigns, Communication and Media in South
Sudan, in a statement issued in Juba, the capital of South Sudan,
after a visit.

The charity said cases of cholera have already been reported in
resettlement camps in Malakal, further down the River Nile, where many
of the refugees from Sudan and returnees from South Sudan have been
resettled after they cross the border. It called on donors who were
meeting in Geneva on [Mon 19 Jun 2023] to discuss financial support
for the crisis in Sudan and the subsequent refugee influx to
neighboring countries to give generously to avoid a health crisis.
Save the Children’s Country Director in South Sudan Pornpun Jib
Rabiltossaporn said cuts to international funding have had a
devastating impact across South Sudan.

“We have been fortunate to be able to respond to the needs of newly
displaced people from Sudan so far, but without new funds there is no
telling how long this support will last. With the crisis in Sudan
showing no sign of abating, support will be needed for weeks and
months to come as people will continue to come across the border,”
Rabiltossaporn said. She said more international support is urgently
needed to enable humanitarian partners not only to respond to this new
crisis but also to continue to support people affected by the ongoing
hunger crisis affecting millions across the country.

The organization said the start of the rainy season earlier this month
[June 2023] in Renk, in the northeastern part of South Sudan, brought
in torrential rains, causing large areas of transit centers to become
mud fields and raising fears that deadly floods and outbreaks of
diseases like cholera will occur in coming weeks. Cholera spreads
quickly in flooded areas when the feces of an infected person
contaminates water or food. The disease can spread rapidly in areas
with inadequate treatment of sewage and no drinking water.

The charity said resources to respond to this escalating crisis in the
border region are increasingly limited, with facilities reaching
breaking point. Since fighting began in Sudan in mid-April [2023],
more than 1.7 million people have been displaced, including close to
500 000 people who have sought safety in neighboring countries. More
than 100 000 people have reached South Sudan, making the country the
third largest host of displaced people from Sudan after Egypt and
Chad, according to the UN.

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