The Minister of Health in the Republic of South Sudan, Dr. Riek Gai Kok has declared an outbreak of cholera in Juba County, South Sudan. On 1 June 2015, a cholera case was confirmed in UN House PoC after Vibrio cholerae inaba was isolated from one of the three stool samples.
“The confirmation of the cases automatically triggers the activation of a full-scale response involving all relevant sectors and partners in line with International Health Regulation (IHR 2005) requirements,” Dr. Riek Gai Kok said during the press conference.
As of today, 170 suspected cholera cases including 18 deaths have been reported. A total of 65 stool samples have been collected from suspected cases and submitted to the National Public Health Laboratory for testing. Out of these, 19 cholera cases have been confirmed through laboratory tests in Juba following the isolation of Vibrio cholerae inaba,”
Addressing the same press conference, WHO Country Representative in South Sudan, Dr. Tarande Manzila commended the Ministry of Health for declaring the outbreak as the announcement will enable the public to take prevention measures and help partners to take the necessary steps to contain the outbreak, while unlocking required
resources in fighting the epidemic.
“We commend the effort of the Ministry of Health for making this event public because one of the most important measures in containing any cholera epidemic is community awareness. This enables people to take prevention measures, which is the simplest way to curtail an outbreak,” he said.
According to Dr. Gai Kok, immediate response actions effected by the Ministry of Health, with support from WHO and health partners, include enhancing surveillance and case management; activating the national and state cholera taskforce committees and the corresponding subcommittees to coordinate a comprehensive response; supporting designated treatment centres with the minimum supplies for cholera case management, water sanitation and hygiene to ensure that suspect cholera cases receive optimal care and the recommended treatment; activating and disseminating the hotline for prompt reporting and investigation of suspected cholera cases; and intensifying risk communications on cholera prevention and control using appropriate media channels.
Cholera treatment centres have been established in Juba Teaching Hospital and the International Medical Corps (IMC) clinic in UN House Protection of Civilians (PoC) to manage suspected and confirmed cholera cases, while the Health Cluster has mobilized necessary requirements for a cholera treatment centre in UN House PoC, where most cases have been reported, in case of a full-scale outbreak. Satellite sites for setting up cholera treatment centres have been designated at Juba Military Hospital, Gumbo, Gurei, Nyakuron and Munuki in Juba County.