JUBA, March 8 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan has declared an outbreak of cholera after two samples were confirmed positive in the protection of civilians (PoC) site in Malakal, the capital of Upper Nile State.
Minister of Health Yolanda Awel Deng said the ministry received an alert of a suspected cholera outbreak in Malakal on Feb. 22, and a multidisciplinary national rapid response team was deployed to conduct preliminary epidemiological investigation and verification, and support initial response.
"On Feb. 22, Medecins Sans Frontieres Spain (MSF Spain) in Malakal, Upper Nile State, received an alert of increasing cases of acute watery diarrhea and vomiting in children aged one year and below. Two samples were collected and tested positive for cholera on rapid diagnostic testing," Awel told journalists in the South Sudanese capital of Juba on Tuesday evening.
Awel said health personnel has recorded 179 cumulative cholera cases and one death since Feb. 22 reported from Malakal, adding that 59 percent of the cases are male and 41 percent are female, with children under four years being the most affected.
Awel said they have deployed an additional multidisciplinary rapid response team comprising of epidemiologist, laboratory, case management, infection prevention and control, water sanitation and hygiene, and risk communication and community engagement to conduct an in-depth investigation in order to determine the magnitude and risk factors associated with the outbreak as well as support in scaling up the response. ■