WHO and ECHO deliver essential medicines and supplies to communities affected by the cholera outbreak in South Sudan

The world Health Organization (WHO) with support from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) have delivered essential medicines and supplies to the communities affected by the cholera outbreak in the Islands of Jonglei and Greater Lakes.

The shipment included full Diarrhoeal Disease Kits (DDKs) sufficient to treat 2 800 cases, oral rehydration solution (ORS) modules and cholera investigation kits in addition to the cholera preparedness and response guidelines. The supplies were deployed along with rapid response teams that are currently working alongside local teams to control the raging outbreaks.

Without access to safe drinking water, food and shelter the affected areas lack even the most basic resources to combat the disease.

“The Islands affected by the cholera outbreak in Jonglei have been hard to reach for over 6 months, leaving people in desperate need of food, water, sanitation, health services and medicines”, said Dr Allan Mpairwe, WHO Health Security and Emergency Officer. Living conditions are very difficult and people’s day-to-day lives are characterized by lack of basic social services including basic and lifesaving medicines, medical supplies and laboratory reagents in the health facilities, Dr Mpairwe added.

With the supplies now in place, six-man rapid response teams (one Medical Officer, two Clinical Officers, one Nurse, one Public Health Officer and Epidemiologist) have been deployed to augment the local response in Bor South, Awriel and Yirol East Counties. The current response entails offering essential medical care to the displaced and to host communities affected by cholera as a first step towards improving the humanitarian situation in the area.   However, with the inaccessibility and instability in the area great concern remains that the humanitarian situation may further deteriorate, and that humanitarian access – and thus response capacity – may be further threatened.

“Supplies were provided thanks to funding from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO)” said Dr Abdulmumini Usman, WHO Representative to South Sudan. “The humanitarian supplies provide vitally needed aid to the most affected population by the conflict”, Dr Usman said.

ECHO and other partners, has been supporting the emergency response through provision of Interagency Emergency Health Kits (IEHK), trauma kits, Diarrhoeal Disease Kits (DDKs) and outbreak investigation kits to ensure humanitarian supplies are delivered and distributed to affected communities as efficiently as possible.

Considering the ongoing response and the increasing health and nutrition needs, WHO is committed to ensuring that all South Sudanese continue to have access to health services, including those in the hardest to access areas through the provision of emergency lifesaving medicines which currently are urgently needed.

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