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 Programmes: Emergency & Response

 

 

 


 

Cholera Breaks Out, HlSS Responds

 

The Cholera outbreak in 2014 was quite a disturbing experience for the health partners, national, and state governments of the new nation. 

 

On 15th May, 2014, the national Health Ministry officially declared its outbreak at a time the country was still grappling with other humanitarian crises such as the congestions at the Protection of Civilian sites following the outbreak of the internal armed conflict in the country late in 2013.

 

Emmanuel Douglas assessing the condition of a cholera patient at the peak of the out break in Magwi PHCC

Above: HLSS' Director Emmanuel Douglas Obuoja Achini examining Rose in Magwi PHCU as the Director of Diakonie Mr. Heimendahl looked on. (Magwi County, EES)

The disease quickly spread from Juba, Gudele1, to Kajo-Keji and Yei counties of Central Equatoria State (CES).

 

It soon spread to Bor in Jonglei state, Mundri East, Manyo County of Upper Nile State and then to Torit, Lopa/Lafon, Magwi, Kapoeta North of EES.

 

By the end of May 2014, EES became a cholera hotspot with majority of infection in Torit and Magwi Counties (Owiny Kibul).

 

Lopa/Lafon, Kapoeta North, Ikwoto and Budi too had quite significant figures reported. As the disease claimed dozens of lives in Torit alone, at community level and health facilities, a more protracted and vigorous intervention became inevitable. HLSS, being disaster prepared, quickly intervened upon the invitation of the EES Health Ministry and UNICEF.

 

In mid-June, a high level delegation of HLSS visited the state, consulted with the state health officials and other stakeholders such as UNICEF and carried out a quick assessment. Soon, the required technical personnel of 25 clinical officers, nurses and a medical doctor as a team leader were recruited and deployed to immediately prevent and control the spread of the disease in the state.

 

The cholera response, coordinated by the state taskforce with support from the National Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners ensured timely case detection and referral to the designated Cholera Treatment Centres (CTC) that were established in the hotspot areas of the state.        

 

HLSS immediately set up Oral Rehydration Points (ORPs) and Cholera Treatment Units (CTUs) in the hotspots for early case detection, effective management and control of the spread of the disease through community awareness and hygiene promotion at grassroots levels.

 

HLSS setup a total of 17 ORPs, 1 CTU and 1 CTC through which 1,495 suspected cholera cases were treated.  51.5% of the cases were females whereas 48.5% were males. Of the total cases, 172 (11.5%) were severe cases which had to be referred to CTUs and CTC for appropriate management.