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UN, May 11 (Canadian-Media): The United Nations (UN) agency responded with emergency healthcare relief after 140 suspected cases of cholera were reported in Ayod during the first weeks of April, threatening the population of some 175,000 people, media reports said.
Ayod, the Greater Upper Nile region of South Sudan, one of multiple counties throughout the country, which was struck with cholera since June 2016, received healthcare from United Nations humanitarian workers, UN News Centre reports said.
“Access to Ayod is difficult during the rainy season, and its proximity to the Nile River increases its vulnerability to outbreaks of water-borne diseases such as cholera,” The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said, noting also the ongoing crisis in Jonglei and the lack of health workers and medical supplies.
IOM. Image credit: Twitter handle
IOM said it deployed a rapid response team to Jonglei late last month, to support local health partners and try to contain the outbreak.
“Conditions are extremely difficult for families in Jiech,” said Carol Kipsang, an IOM health officer and nurse, referring to a town in Ayad County. More than 230 people are affected there.
The majority of suspected cholera cases in Ayod come from communities living in cattle camps along the river.
Since the cholera outbreak was declared in June 2016, more than 7,200 cases of cholera have been reported, including 229 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the South Sudan Ministry of Health.
The disease is also reportedly spreading through swamp water, with millions of people displaced and moving through the swamps to avoid fighters.
WHO has provided response kits, medication and equipment for oral rehydration points and cholera treatment units.