South Sudan end outbreak of cholera amid 436 deaths

Health & HIV/AIDS
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[Juba, South Sudan, TCT]--South Sudan health ministry and World Health Organization (WHO) on last week declared the country free of cholera after 436 case of death reported since last year.

“We today declare an end of the cholera outbreak that affected our country from 18 June 2016 to 18 December 2017,” South Sudan health minister Riek Gai Kok told journalists in Juba.

Cholera outbreak was declared in South Sudan on 22 July 2016 after health officials obtained laboratory results on 20 July 2016.

He said the ministry documented a cumulative data of 20,438 cases with 436 deaths and a case fatality rate of 2.13 per cent in 26 counties throughout the 18 months of outbursts.

Kok revealed that the last confirmed cholera case was reported in Al Sabah hospital, Juba on the 18 December 2017. Since then, no new cases have been reported in the past seven weeks, hence the decision to declare an end to the outbreak.

“As we declare the end of cholera outbreak, the public is encouraged to continue observing the preventive measures to avoid cholera and other diarrheal diseases.”

He said the outbreak was the longest and largest cholera epidemic ever recorded in magnitude and geographical extent in the country.

The minister said the outbreak was successfully interrupted of cholera transmission through joint efforts from health partners and donors like Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI).

On his part, Evans Liyosi, WHO’s Country representatives, said the countrywide active surveillance for suspect cholera outbreak was undertaken by the ministry of health surveillance officers and partners.

“Over 60 rapid response teams were trained and deployed to investigate and respond to outbreaks of cholera in 26 counties,” Liyosi said.

The expert said WHO helped the ministry of health to develop a good network with partners to establish a communication strategy to facilitate mobilization, community engagement, and risk communication to affected high-risk groups.

“Messages were developed, tailored, and disseminated using multimedia channels to the communication needs of each of the target groups,” He revealed.

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