MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

Political crisis in South Sudan hinders access to antimalarial drugs

The malaria epidemic in South Sudan is getting worse due to the political unrest in the country.

The medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders said recently that South Sudan doesn't have enough antimalarial drugs to treat all the cases.

"Some patients die when they could have been easily saved if they had had access to treatment earlier," Renee Madrolle, Doctors Without Borders' project coordinator at Aweil state hospital, said. "Malaria is the first cause of mortality in Aweil during the rainy season, and children are the most affected."

Doctors Without Borders staff have treated nearly 60,000 patients since the beginning of the year, more than triple the number of patients seen during the same period last year. In September, the pediatric department in Aweil hospital saw more than 70 percent of its  malaria cases for the year at that point.

"MSF cannot cover all the needs in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Warrap and Western Equatoria states, and the Abyei territory," Madrolle said. "More international health workers must be mobilized, along with the Ministry of Health, to provide access to anti-malarial treatment to the population.”

As a result of the political crisis, medicine from Juba was not delivered at the start of the rainy season during the first spike in malaria cases at the end of May and the beginning of June.

Doctors Without Borders currently has 25 projects in nine of South Sudan's 10 states, employing 3,300 national staff and 350 international staff.

Organizations in this story

Doctors Without Borders 333 7th Avenue New York, NY 10001-5004

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