Ministry of Health Statement on Declaration of Cholera Outbreak in Rubkona County, South Sudan
The declaration follows the confirmation of cholera in eight cases following tests by the National Public Health Laboratory in Juba
The confirmed cases presented with watery diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration and were admitted and managed at MSF Bentiu PoC Hospital
The Ministry of Health would like to inform the public that the Cholera outbreak has been declared in Rubkona county, Unity State. The declaration follows the confirmation of cholera in eight cases following tests by the National Public Health Laboratory in Juba. To date, a total of 31 cases including one death have been reported from Rubkona town and Bentiu IDP camp.
The confirmed cases presented with watery diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration and were admitted and managed at MSF Bentiu PoC Hospital. All cases have been discharged.
Following the confirmation of the initial case on 14 April 2022, the Ministry of Health with support from its partners deployed a rapid response team from 22 to 29 April 2022 to investigate the causes and support the state level response. Adequate supplies have been deployed to support the investigation and treatment of cases in Rubkona county. Moreover, the Government with support from its partners conducted two rounds of oral cholera vaccination in Rubkona county in January and March 2022 respectively.
The Ministry of Health and partners are conducting further case search in the households and their neighborhood to identify additional cholera cases following a steady rise in acute watery diarrhea cases reported in both the Bentiu and Rubkona IDP camps and the host community.
Public is being urged not to panic but remain calm and observe all the precautionary measures to prevent community transmission and spread in populations with inadequate access to safe drinking water, poor personal hygiene, and inadequate access to improved sanitation facilities.
The Ministry of Health activated a national and a state cholera taskforce on 14 April 2022 to coordinate all response interventions, heighten surveillance in the Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps and at community levels.
The cholera risk is typically high during the rainy season that starts from May to the end of October.
For the last couple of years, the country has experienced devastating floods affecting over one million people mainly women and children and displacing them from their homes, livelihoods, and social services.
Given the congestion of displaced populations in high ground areas and contamination of the safe water sources in Unity State, the humanitarian response has been scaled up to avert catastrophic consequences of cholera, floods, severe food insecurity, COVID-19 and other shocks.
The Ministry of Health will continue to work with partners to ensure preparedness and response efforts are fully implemented and the people of South Sudan are protected from cholera and would like to use this opportunity to encourage the public to continue observing the following measures to prevent cholera and other diarrhea diseases:
Drink and use water that has been made safe after treating with chlorine or if boiling, bring your water to a complete boil for at least 1 minute.
Always wash your hands with soap and water after using the latrine, before handling and eating food.
Use latrines or bury your feces and do not defecate in any water body.
Cook food well, keep it covered, eat it hot, and peel fruits and vegetables. Always wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly with clean water before eating them.
Keep a clean environment at home and in public places and dispose of liquid and solid waste safely.
The Public is further urged to be vigilant and report all suspected cholera cases to the national outbreak hotline 6666 or the nearest health facility, County Health Department, and/or State Ministry of Health.
May God bless you, and may God bless South Sudan.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Government of the Republic of South Sudan.