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South Sudan Experience Cholera Outbreak, Death Toll At 39

The cholera outbreak declared last month in South Sudan has claimed the lives of 39 people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The disease has spread from Juba, South Sudan's capital city, to Jonglei State capital Bor through its water supply, the International Business Times reported. The majority of the deaths have been recorded in Juba.

The 39 deaths are among a total of 1,212 cholera cases recorded by the WHO, according to the Agence France-Presse (AFP).

May 18 marks the first cholera case, originating from a United Nations camp in Juba, the AFP reported. On June 23, South Sudan's health ministry officially declared an outbreak of the waterborne disease.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs issued a statement regarding subsequent action to control the disease.

"In response to the outbreak, health partners have set up cholera treatment centers and oral rehydration points in both counties, and are conducting cholera prevention activities, including hygiene promotion and improvement of access to safe drinking water."

But efforts to combat cholera in the war-torn country are further stymied by poor economic conditions, OCHA also noted.

"Many people can no longer afford to buy enough safe water," OCHA said, according to the AFP. "Those who still can afford it, now spend twice as much as they did just a few months ago."

South Sudan's civil war began in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir believed a former deputy, Riek Machar, of wanting to stage a coup. Additional fighting spread as a result, leading to internal ethnic conflict.

The UN High Commission for Refugees said nearly 1.5 million people have been internally displaced since the civil war started, according to the International Business Times.

Sources: International Business TimesAFP via Yahoo NewsUN News CenterUN OCHA

Photo Credit: /M.Moyo via UN News Center


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