Response Goes Wide as Cholera Cases Rise in South Sudan’s Capital
Cholera, one of the most dangerous bacterial diseases that is often contracted from contaminated water, continues to spread in Juba, the capital city of South Sudan. Since the beginning of the outbreak, there have been 960 cases diagnosed and 27 deaths, a startling increase from just two weeks ago. There are many risk factors for contracting cholera including drinking water from unsafe sources, a lack of safe waste disposal systems, consuming contaminated food or drinks at roadside stands and makeshift markets, and not practicing basic hygiene like washing hands before handling food. Although there is little evidence pointing to the primary origin of the outbreak, the Nile River, which flows through the heart of the city, is a major factor in the spread of the disease.
Working with the Juba City Council and other humanitarian organizations, we will be intervening in one of the most affected areas in Juba this week. Our Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WaSH) response plan for the cholera outbreak has been developed from years of experience and evaluation to ensure that we are tackling this issue as effectively and efficiently as possible. Action Against Hunger is currently working with partner organizations to implement a targeted approach of response, which we believe is the most efficient at this stage of the outbreak.
“While Juba has changed over the last three years, its infrastructure has not developed in proportion to its growing population's basic needs. Rural areas are now some of the most populated areas, with new risk factors we must account for.”
—Chiara Saccardi, Team Leader, Action Against Hunger Emergency Response Team, in Juba
We are ensuring that local health groups have the capacity to take care of incoming patients, and we are organizing community-wide hygiene trainings and hygiene-kit distributions to help stop the spread of the disease. These immediate actions along with constructing water purification systems, hand washing stations, fixing broken hand pumps and providing communities with access to safe water all play a role in our response.
Although South Sudan is the youngest nation in the world, it’s important to remember that Action Against Hunger has been working here for over 20 years. Our cholera emergency team is working in coordination with UNICEF and other humanitarian organizations to contain the outbreak in Juba, while we continue our longstanding programs to treat malnourished children, provide clean water and sanitation solutions, and address food security issues in other parts of the country. Our expertise is what makes us one of the most effective humanitarian organizations in the world, and we are dedicated to helping the people of South Sudan now and moving forward.
Download the PDF: Statement 06/04/14
For more information Please contact:
Elisabeth Anderson Rapport
Senior Communications Officer