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Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. World Health Organization raises concern over the urgent need to respond to the multiple outbreaks of infectious diseases reported in South Sudan amidst the ongoing conflict. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1407-8
|How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. World Health Organization raises concern over the urgent need to respond to the multiple outbreaks of infectious diseases reported in South Sudan amidst the ongoing conflict. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2021 Apr 14];10:1407-8. Available from: https://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/6/1407/222682
The citizens of South Sudan have been exposed to multiple life-threatening situations since the political infighting began in December 2013.
This ongoing crisis has resulted in massive internal displacement (1.6 million), migration to neighboring nations (0.7 million), reports of serious violence, kidnapping, dire food shortage, closure of 75% of schools, no future for youths, violation of human rights among girls and women, disruption of both routine and emergency health services (viz., shortage of health workers, medical supplies, medicines, medical equipments, etc.), and outbreaks of varied infectious disease., This conflict has continued to persist despite many agreements of peace between the two parties involved, and each time it has been violated by both the parties and their followers.
Even though, in some of the regions, the violence incidence has declined; nevertheless, nothing is permanent as innocent civilians have been repeatedly attacked and brutally killed. Further, thousands of people are living in temporary camps, but then, even these camps have been repeatedly attacked and no guarantee for the inhabitants’ safety can be given. Also, thousands and thousands of people are living outside camps in bushes or small villages, with no access to food or safe water or any other welfare opportunity. In addition, the nation’s economy has taken a serious toll, with its currency value decreasing, while the price of goods, food, and services are immensely high.
Further, multiple outbreaks of infectious diseases have been reported in different regions of the nation affected by conflicts.,,, The ongoing outbreak of cholera has accounted for more than 1750 cases and 25 deaths within 45 days of the start of the outbreak across five states of the nation., The World Health Organization (WHO) has made arrangements for the treatment, administration of oral cholera vaccines, awareness creation among the general population through different modes of mass media, and arrangement for home visits by the health workers to spread message about water purification, hand hygiene, and the role of oral rehydration solution.,,
Moreover, a significant rise in the number of malaria cases has been reported since the end of the May month in a camp for the internally displaced people, with close to 0.8 million people being treated since then. Even with regard to measles, in excess of 1600 cases, 19 deaths have been reported in the nation since the start of 2016. Further, in the same year, in excess of 1000 cases of kala azar, 40 associated deaths have been reported. A rise in the incidence of infectious diseases has been reported owing to the interplay of various factors such as weak health care delivery system, poor socioeconomic status, overcrowding, migration of people, poor surveillance of the infectious disease, low levels of community awareness, and lack of community trust on the health system.,,
In order to effectively contain them, WHO has arranged for medicines for the malaria and kala azar, and also have conducted immunization campaigns for measles., In addition, multiple sites for early warning alert and response system have been established to expedite the outbreak response., Further, members of the rapid response teams have been trained and deployed in the affected regions to respond to the outbreak and exercise prompt actions.,,,,
To conclude, amidst the ongoing conflict and massive population displacement, infectious diseases continue to remain a cause of massive public health threat and it is of utmost importance to mobilize resources and have a multidisciplinary approach to prevent the emergence of any major disease outbreak.
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Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None