South Sudan declares cholera outbreak

Two samples were confirmed positive in Malakal. [iStockphoto]

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 February 22, and a multidisciplinary national rapid response team was deployed to conduct preliminary epidemiological investigation and verification and support the initial response.

"On February 22, Medecins Sans Frontieres Spain (MSF Spain) in Malakal, Upper Nile State, received an alert of increasing cases of acute watery diarrhoea 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 Juba.

The minister said health personnel have recorded 179 cumulative cholera cases and one death since then, adding that 59 per cent of the cases are male and 41 per cent are female, with children under four years being the most affected.

Awel said they have deployed an additional multidisciplinary rapid response team.