SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

UNICEF warns of worsening South Sudan cholera outbreak

UNICEF announced on Monday that the cholera outbreak in South Sudan is worsening.


The reported cases of cholera have doubled on a daily basis since the outbreak began in the capital city of Juba last week. More than 130 cases have been reported, including dozens of children. Three people are confirmed dead from the disease.


UNICEF warned last month that due to continued overcrowding in refugee camps in the face of continuing violence, combined with the onset of the rainy season, up to 50,000 children under the age of five could die if nutrition treatment is not improved.


"The severity of the cholera outbreak is just one manifestation of a country failing its children," Jonathan Veitch, the UNICEF representative in South Sudan, said. "Cholera puts ever more strain on the most vulnerable, whose health is already compromised by a nutritional crisis."


UNICEF has established a cholera treatment center in Juba that is providing medicine and protective gear to residents. It is also distributing fresh water supplies and broadcasting public health messages in five different languages over the radio.


The South Sudanese response to the cholera outbreak is directed by the Ministry of Health with aid from UNICEF and the World Health Organization.


Cholera is usually transmitted by contaminated food or water, and symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting.