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South Sudan on high alert after cholera outbreak in Bentiu

By Simon Deng

South Sudan’s Ministry of Health has issued high alerts in the aftermath of confirming three cases of cholera in Bentiu internally displaced people’s camp in Unity State.

John Rumunu, the Director General for Preventive Health Services, on Tuesday said that they are already working with multi-sectorial groups to come up with robust national cholera control program.

“We advise multiple public health measures like vaccination, water sanitation and hygiene intervention,” he told journalists.

Medical charity Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) last week confirmed cholera outbreak in Bentiu IDP camp after collecting samples.

Rumunu revealed that one person succumbed to cholera, adding the other two cases have since recovered.

He said that health facilities are testing acute watery diarrhea, adding so far there is no transmission.

“We have identified strategic intervention, we are testing all acute watery diarrhea with rapid diagnostic test, we have not had additional positive cases apart from the one we have and that means definitely there is no transmission,” said Rumunu.

Rumunu disclosed that they started preventive vaccination among the population at most risk in Rubkona County and Bentiu IDP camp.

 He added that the public health emergency laboratory in Juba, and Uganda Virus Research Institute tested samples collected in Bentiu confirming cholera outbreak.

“Our colleagues on the ground are doing risk communication and community engagement, they are doing surveillance and also MSF has set cholera treatment centre with 20 beds ready to respond to any cholera case which will be identified,” said Rumunu.

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