Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has recently begun a vaccination campaign to protect people who have a higher risk of contracting Cholera in Juba, South Sudan. The first phase of the campaign will cover 4,000 people living at the Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Tomping. The vaccinations will take place on Wednesday (27 July) and Thursday (28 July).
Two hundred and thirty three cases of Cholera have now been recorded in Juba and five people have died from the disease. In Tomping camp, six suspected Cholera cases have been reported, which, together with the living conditions at the camp, leaves its residents at a higher risk of contracting the disease. In the coming days, people who have been in close contact with those who have Cholera and health workers caring for affected patients will also be vaccinated.
“These targeted vaccinations will help to limit the spread of Cholera among people who are more at risk,” said Stephanie Remion, MSF head of mission. “They are part of a wider strategy that is aiming to bring the outbreak to an end as quickly as possible.”
As well as providing targeted vaccinations, MSF is supporting the Ministry of Health (MoH) to run a Cholera Treatment Center at the Juba Teaching Hospital. MSF medics are providing care and are training MoH staff in best practices for Cholera treatment.
“We want to make sure people know that if they have watery diarrhoea more than three times in one day then they may have Cholera,” said Anja Wolz, MSF emergency coordinator. “With early diagnosis and treatment, people have a very good chance of survival. Treatment starts at home – people should drink Oral Rehydration Solution and then seek medical care as quickly as possible.”
People who think they have Cholera are instructed to go to their nearest Oral Rehydration Points (ORPs), which have been set up at the following hospitals and health centres; Gurei, Kator, Lologo, Gumbo, Munuki, Gorom, Morobo, Mahad, Khor Williams, Al Geida, Al Sabbah Children’s Hospital and Juba Teaching Hospital. The points are open between 7 am and 6 pm every day. Those who are very ill have been told to come to the Juba Teaching Hospital for treatment.
Over the past two weeks, MSF has brought in more than 400,000 gallons of clean drinking water to people in Juba, which also helps to protect against outbreaks.
“People can help to protect their families by making sure that the water they drink is clean and safe,” said Anja Wolz. “Other things that can help to limit the spread of Cholera include using latrines, washing hands with soap or ash, and making sure that the places where food is prepared and eaten are clean.”
MSF teams continue to run mobile clinics in four locations across Juba and have now treated more than 6,000 people in the city. The organization is also providing surgeries to people who were seriously wounded during recent violence and is continuing to provide free healthcare across South Sudan.